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Agate Falls Railroad Bridge

Agate Falls Railroad Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: October 1, 2012

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Key Facts

Location
Rural: Ontonagon County, Michigan: United States
Structure Type
Metal Deck Girder, Fixed
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1900 By Builder/Contractor: American Bridge Company of New York, New York

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
Not Available
Structure Length
Not Available
Roadway Width
Not Available
Spans
Main Span Count Not Available
NBI Number
Not Applicable

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)

Bridge Documentation

View Archived National Bridge Inventory Report - Has Additional Details and Evaluation

Built in 1900 by the American Bridge Company, this is one of the first bridges ever built by the prolific bridge builder, constructed in the company's first year of operation. The company was formed by buying up a bunch of smaller bridge companies to form one big company. In the first couple years of the company's existence, its operation strongly relied on the existing facilities and practices of the companies it had absorbed. Evidence of that is found in the builder plaque for this bridge that lists not only the American Bridge Company name, but states "Lassig Branch, Chicago, Ill." This refers to what was previously Lassig Bridge and Iron Works of Chicago, Illinois that was bought by the American Bridge Company. Indeed, the plaque on this bridge still has the shape of a Lassig Bridge and Iron Works plaque, rather than the American Bridge Company style plaque the company would later adopt.

The bridge is a high level deck plate girder bridge supported by steel bents, a traditional type of bridge for high level railroad crossings often called "steel trestle" bridges. Given that only certain areas of Michigan display the topography that necessitates this type of bridge, this is a rare bridge variety in Michigan. Most examples of this type are, like this bridge, located in the Upper Penninsula.

This bridge is located in a scenic park setting next to a waterfall. The bridge is today serving a ORV and snowmobile trail.

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