This is a non-historic replacement bridge, but it appears the original stones from a previous historic stone arch bridge were placed on the replacement bridge as decorations! Please see the HAER documentation for photos of the historic bridge prior to demolition. This bridge is only listed because the stone fascia on the replacement bridge resembles the shape of the historic bridge and the original plaque survives. This should NOT be interpreted as an endorsement of what happened here. The rare stone arch bridge should have and could have been restored and preserved in-kind. Indeed the photos show that the replacement bridge is of poor construction quality compared to the historic bridge... some of the stones are already falling off the bridge at a pier point.
The engineer for the historic bridge, Keepers and Thacher went on to build early concrete arch bridges using Melan reinforcing including several spans built in 1897 in Topeka, Kansas. Little is known about this company which operated from only 1894 to 1899 when Thacher went on to form other companies. A curious reference to the Detroit Bridge and Iron Works appeared in Transactions of the American Society of Civil Engineers, Volume 45 page 634, where it is stated in an obituary for an engineer who was in charge of the Cass Street Bridge for the company, Marc J. Reiseger, "in 1894 secured a position with Keepers and Thatcher Wynkoop, better known as the Detroit Bridge and Iron Works of Detroit, Mich., which firm subsequently became Keepers and Thatcher. This would seem to imply that Keepers and Thatcher was an engineering branch of Detroit Bridge and Iron Works, however this statement has not been seen elsewhere. Also curious is the reference to an earlier name of the company, Keepers, Wynkoop, and Thatcher. It is not known if this is a coincidence, but around this time, there was an agent for the Massillon Bridge Company of Massillon Ohio based out of Toledo named Wynkoop and McGormley who built several bridges in Michigan. It is not known if these names are related. The "Thacher" in the name refers to the famous (but often mispelled) engineer Edwin Thacher who invented the Thacher truss, but later became a builder of concrete Melan arch bridges. Please see the Parshallburg Bridge page for more information about Edwin Thacher. Little is known about the other half of the company, A. H. Keepers.
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