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Kivamaki Road Bridge

Kivamaki Road Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: September 8, 2010, June 26, 2011, and October 22, 2012

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Kivamaki Road Over Whitefish River
Rural: Alger County, Michigan: United States
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1910 By Builder/Contractor: Continental Bridge Company of Chicago and Peotone, Illinois

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
44 Feet (13.4 Meters)
Structure Length
46 Feet (14 Meters)
Roadway Width
15 Feet (4.57 Meters)
1 Main Span(s)
NBI Number

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
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Bridge Documentation

This bridge's future is at risk!

Bridge Status: This bridge's owner has applied for 2013 Local Bridge Program demolition and replacement funding!

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

This beautiful little truss bridge is a structure that with a rehabilitation could likely continue to serve the vehicular traffic which uses the dead end two-track road it serves. The bridge is significant as a rare documented example of a bridge built by the Continental Bridge Company. Very few examples of this company's work remain, particularly in Michigan. The bridge retains excellent historic integrity and the metal of the truss is in fair condition, and could easily be restored.

In a region of Michigan with very few metal truss bridges, each of Alger County's remaining truss bridges should be preserved. Instead however, the county road commission has applied for demolition and replacement funding through MDOT's Local Bridge Program. The Local Bridge Program was touted as an improvement to the former MDOT Critical Bridge Program because the Local Bridge Program would also fund repair and rehabilitation, rather than just replacement. In theory this is excellent and is exactly how transportation funding could be reformed. However the program has not been successful in the view of HistoricBridges.org. First, unlike the Critical Bridge Program, the Local Bridge Program does not use any federal money, so historic bridges can be replaced without conducting Section 106. As such, there is no requirement for a county to consider alternatives to the demolition of a historic bridge, nor are they required to mitigate the adverse effect should they choose to demolish a historic bridge. Second, HistoricBridges.org has seen no evidence that the Local Bridge Program's ability to fund rehabilitation and repair is actually being used, particularly with historic bridges. There does not appear to be any incentive to the county to apply for rehabilitation or repair funding versus replacement funds. As a result, the counties just simply apply for demolition and replacement like they always did. After all, in their view, if they can get a brand new expensive bridge just as easily as repairing the existing bridge, they see no reason to go for repair funds. Worse, although MDOT occasionally shows some backbone and questions the requests of counties to replace bridges that should instead be rehabilitated, more often than not, they rubber stamp the request and the bridge gets demolished and replaced.


Photo Galleries and Videos: Kivamaki Road Bridge

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Bridge Photo-Documentation
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A collection of overview and detail photos. This gallery offers photos in the highest available resolution and file size in a touch-friendly popup viewer. Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer
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Bridge Photo-Documentation
Mobile Optimized Photos
A collection of overview and detail photos. This gallery features data-friendly, fast-loading photos in a touch-friendly popup viewer. Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer
View Video
Westbound Crossing
Full Motion Video
Streaming video of the bridge. Also includes a higher quality downloadable video for greater clarity or offline viewing.


Maps and Links: Kivamaki Road Bridge

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