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Byron Railroad Bridge

Byron Railroad Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: March 4, 2010

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Railroad (MDOT Owned) Over Shiawassee River
Byron: Shiawassee County, Michigan: United States
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
By Builder/Contractor: Toledo-Massillon Bridge Company of Toledo, Ohio

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
104 Feet (31.7 Meters)
Structure Length
104 Feet (31.7 Meters)
Roadway Width
11 Feet (3.35 Meters)
1 Main Span(s)
NBI Number

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
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Bridge Documentation

This bridge is a traditional example of a relatively small railroad deck truss bridge. Deck truss bridges are few in number in Michigan, particularly in this part of the state. As such, this bridge is a locally significant example of its type.

According to the bridge inspection file for the bridge, the traditionally composed truss is configured as follows: The top chords consist of shop riveted, built up box sections with a top cover plate, bottom lacing, flange angles, and web plates. Vertical members consist of shop riveted, built up members with lacing and flange angles. Lower chord are composed of shop riveted, built up members with a horizontal web plate and flange angles. Diagonal members are built up box sections with either two channels or corner angles, with top and bottom lacing. Reconstruction of portions of the abutments is also recommended due to design problems as well as deterioration. The total estimated cost of rehabilitating the bridge (including both short term and long term repairs) is estimated at $345,800, which is a reasonable cost for a bridge of this type.

The bridge is in a condition where a rehabilitation is needed, and is feasible. The truss should be cleaned and painted. Repairs are needed to the a number of the lateral bracing connections.

Something generally considered to be inappropriate, the trusses are in tight contact with the rear abutment, which means that the truss can put pressure on the abutment and cause cracking. However, the bridge appears to have been like this from the day it was built. In fact, there are what appear to be chiseled areas in the lower portion of the abutments which appear to be from the original construction of the bridge, and may have been created to help the bridge to fit. It is unclear why this condition exists, it is almost as if the contractor did not measure something correctly when the bridge was built. Either way, it is an interesting feature on the bridge, even if undesirable.

This bridge has the unusual distinction of being owned by the Michigan Department of Transportation rather than a private railroad company. What implications this might have for the future of this bridge is unclear.


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