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1st Avenue Railroad Overpass

1st Avenue Railroad Overpass

Primary Photographer(s): James Rouse

Bridge Documented: April 15, 2007

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Railroad (Abandoned Soo Line) Over 1st Avenue
Bessemer: Gogebic County, Michigan: United States
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1896 By Builder/Contractor: Wisconsin Bridge and Iron Company of Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
90 Feet (27.43 Meters)
Structure Length
195 Feet (59.44 Meters)
Roadway Width
8 Feet (2.44 Meters)
1 Main Span(s)
NBI Number
Not Applicable

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)

Bridge Documentation

This bridge is one of only two known railroad over highway grade separations in Michigan to utilize a truss structure. The other one is the massive Southern Street Railroad Overpass, at the opposite corner of the state in Detroit. Moreover, this extremely unusual bridge is even more significant for its design, which could be accurately described as bizarre. Utilizing lightweight members and chords, this bridge has a somewhat primitive look to it. The end posts are vertical and are very short, which is unusual. The panels at each ends are actually more of a plate girder structure. The truss configuration is an odd combination of camelback and double-intersection Warren. The bridge is supported by a wooden substructure. Although no longer serving railroad traffic, the preservation of this bridge is essential, as it is an unusual design, and may be unique. It is unclear why such an unusual design was selected, whether it was built from "spare parts" or some builder was experimenting with efficient designs.


Photo Galleries and Videos: 1st Avenue Railroad Overpass

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