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Garfield Road North Branch Bridge

Garfield Road North Branch Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Randy Mulder

Bridge Documented: October 11, 2010

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Garfield Road Over North Branch White River
Rural: Oceana County, Michigan: United States
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1958 By Builder/Contractor: Fred H. Price and Company and Engineer/Design: Michigan State Highway Department

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
45 Feet (13.7 Meters)
Structure Length
90 Feet (27.4 Meters)
Roadway Width
29 Feet (8.84 Meters)
2 Main Span(s)
NBI Number

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
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Bridge Documentation

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

This bridge is an early example of a pre-stressed concrete bridge in Michigan, with a 1958 construction date. The bridge retains original and unaltered R4 style railings.

Pre-stressed concrete was a material and construction method that would go on to become the most common form of bridge construction in the late 20th Century and to the present day. As such, the material has a rather wicked reputation among historic bridge enthusiasts since this form of bridge often replaces historic bridges.

Interestingly, the bridge's deck and superstructure is listed in "poor" condition in the National Bridge Inventory and evaluated as structurally deficient. This bridge hardly made it past 50 years before gaining this evaluation. This calls into serious question claims made by some states like Pennsylvania who claim that historic truss bridges should be demolished and replaced with modern bridges because the new bridges require less maintenance and will last 100 years. Pre-stressed concrete is not a miracle material, is not an excuse to demolish historic bridges, and it deteriorates just like any bridge material especially as long as salt is used to deice roads. The Garfield Road Bridge suggests that pre-stressed concrete is far less long-lived than the steel and concrete found in many historic bridges.


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Maps and Links: Garfield Road North Branch Bridge

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