The Herbison Road Bridge is an excellent, unaltered example of a stringer bridge in Michigan that features a particular railing design consisting of metal panels who distinguishing feature is the series of vertically oriented riveted metal bars. The design was widely used on Michigan's standard plan metal pony truss bridges, but is uncommon on stringer bridges. Assuming the 1948 date given by the National Bridge Inventory is correct, this is a late example of a bridge with this railing design. The riveted railings have an attractive appearance and are complimented by the decorative concrete posts toward the ends of the bridge.
Unfortunately, the bridge has not been maintained or rehabilitated during its life, and the bridge is today in a deteriorated condition. In particular there is significant section loss on some of the steel stringers. If the bridge had been more frequently painted, the bridge would likely still be in great condition today. The bridge is a perfect example of why state and federal funding assistance programs for local highway agencies need to be revised to fund repair and rehabilitation projects, with the goal being to reduce the number of bridges (whether historic or not) that have to be completely demolished and replaced. Demolition and replacement results in a loss of attractive old and historic bridges, generally costs more money, and creates more inconvenience for motorists.
Unfortunately, demolition and replacement was indeed what this attractive bridge was sentenced too. In November 2010, with the historic bridge having been beautifully decorated by someone for the Thanksgiving season, the Clinton County Road Commission signed the contract to demolish and replace this bridge using Local Bridge Program aid funds from Michigan Department of Transportation. The replacement bridge will be an ugly slab of pre-stressed concrete box beams, and certainly will not be worth decorating, unless the goal is to cover the ugly bridge up completely so nobody can see it.
This historic bridge has been demolished. This map is shown for reference purposes only.
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