HistoricBridges.org Menu: HistoricBridges.org Menu:

We Recommend:
Bach Steel - Experts at historic truss bridge restoration.

HistoricBridges.org: Bridge Browser

Lincoln Road Bridge

Riverdale Bridge

Lincoln Road Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: Winter 2006 and March 15, 2009

View Photos
and Videos
View Maps
and Links

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Lincoln Road Over Pine River
Rural: Gratiot County, Michigan: United States
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1922 By Builder/Contractor: Walter Willets and Engineer/Design: Michigan State Highway Department
Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
90.0 Feet (27.4 Meters)
Structure Length
90.0 Feet (27.4 Meters)
Roadway Width
20 Feet (6.1 Meters)
1 Main Span(s)
Inventory Number

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
View Information About HSR Ratings

Bridge Documentation

This bridge no longer exists!

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

Learn about Michigan's Unique Concrete Camelback Bridges

This historic bridge was demolished and replaced in 2009!

This is perhaps the most severely spalling bridge to appear on this website. Perhaps a bad concrete mix in 1922, coupled with the use of salt on roads today, have combined to bring about the sad fate of this bridge. Oddly though, for all this spalling, the bridge's structure is apparently in fair condition, as no weight limit is posted. The spalling is unimaginable. The shape of the decorative pierced openings on the girders have deformed, nearly the entire top layer of cement on the outmost halves of the girder is gone. The ends of the bridge were patched at some time, and the spalling has continued beneath this patching, and the patch itself has been breaking up. The spalling, which turns solid concrete into a pile of stones and dust have become suitable for grass to begin growing on the girders! Perhaps the only good that has come of this is an opportunity to see inside a reinforced concrete bridge of the 1920s. The main reinforcing rods (apparently acting like the top chord) are quite large, and look somewhat like the decorative twisted steel that uninformed companies call "wrought iron". Smaller, yet similar rods run vertically in the girders, acting like vertical members. Finally, tiny wire-like reinforcing rods are visible in spots as well, for holding smaller portions of concrete together.

This bridge is noteworthy for not only its early 1922 construction date, but also for being a large 90 foot span that also features a notable skew. Most of the 90 foot plan structures are not skewed.

The Lincoln Road Bridge was built to serve the M-46 state trunkline, which originally ran along Lincoln Road in this area. The 1922 Biennial Report of the Michigan State Highway Department shows a 220 Ton Test Load placed on the deck of the bridge, a stunning image that shows the shear strength of Michigan's concrete camelback bridges.

Among Gratiot County's three curved chord through girder bridges, this was the only one to appear on MDOT's website. This is apparently because of its older construction date. Indeed the bridge is significant as one of the first examples of its type to be built, and is one of the oldest remaining today. But it is worth noting that this structure type was only built for about a decade. Even the last girder to be built in Michigan was under ten years newer than this bridge. With perhaps only a few dozen of this structure type remaining, and that number decreasing, all of these bridges are significant, including the others in Gratiot County. Getting Gratiot County to preserve all three of their concrete girder bridges might prove difficult. Perhaps they might agree to preserve one of them however. If this was the case, logic would initially seem to suggest that the Lincoln Road Bridge should be that one, as it was determined to have the most historic significance. However, it may be pertinent, to suggest that the St. Charles Road Bridge might be the way to go. The difference of historic important between a handful or years, versus the structural quality of the actual structure suggest that the St. Charles Road Bridge is more important today. Restoring the St. Charles Road Bridge would be less costly, and because less concrete patching would be needed on its comparatively pristine surface, it would retain a greater degree of historic integrity. It is quite unfortunate, but visually, there is very little left of the Lincoln Road Bridge to preserve. The damage has already been done for the most part. On the other hand, if funding worked more effectively in Michigan, repairs would be less costly that demolition and replacement, and then it would be sensible to restore all three of Gratiot County's girder bridges!

MDOT's explanation for this bridge answers a question some people might have. Usually with a girder bridge, such as a plate girder, one expects to see the floor beams running under the deck between the girders. However, with most of these concrete girder bridges, those girders are cast integrally with the deck itself, rendering them invisible. Some bridges like the Griswold Road Bridge actually has these beams visible.

Above: Replacement Bridge. Photo Credit: Gratiot County Road Commission

Information and Findings From Michigan Historic Bridge Inventory

Lincoln Rd. / Pine River

Narrative Description

Constructed in 1921-1922 from a MSHD standard design, the structure is comprised of a pair of 90-foot, arched concrete through girders that rest on angled concrete brackets cantilevered from the skewed concrete abutments. A dozen concrete floor beams span between the two girders; these are cast integrally with the 20-foot-wide concrete deck. The arched girders feature typical MSHD detailing, with spandrel walls punctuated by five small arched cutouts aligned over a series of arched recessed panels. The lack of corbeled bulkheads at the girders' ends illustrates the bridge's early construction. Although the Lincoln Road Bridge suffers from severe concrete spalling and Armco guardrails have been installed at the approaches, it retains a relatively high degree of structural integrity.

Statement of Significance

The Michigan State Highway Department first developed plans for a long-span concrete through girder bridge with arched girders on cantilevered brackets in the 1921-22 biennium. "These designs have curved top chords and bottom chord brackets," MSHD reported in its Ninth Biennial Report, making them suitable for relatively long-span applications. The first curved-chord girder was a 90-foot span built in 1922 over the Raisin River at Tecumseh. This was followed in the 1920s by a series of curved girders used in single-span or multiple-span configurations. Among the earliest of these new bridges was the span that MSHD designed in 1921 for the Pine Creek crossing in Gratiot County. The Lincoln Road structure, like the Tecumseh Bridge, featured a 90-foot span. Since its completion in 1922, the Lincoln Road Bridge has functioned in place, essentially unaltered. With its 1921-1922 construction date and its 90-foot span, it is today noteworthy as on of the earliest and longest remaining examples in Michigan of the MSHD-designed, arched through girder.


Photo Galleries and Videos: Lincoln Road Bridge


View Photo Gallery

2009 Overview Photos

Original / Full Size Photos
A collection of overview photos, taken March 15, 2009. This gallery offers photos in the highest available resolution and file size in a touch-friendly popup viewer.
Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer


View Photo Gallery

2009 Overview Photos

Mobile Optimized Photos
A collection of overview photos, taken March 15, 2009. This gallery features data-friendly, fast-loading photos in a touch-friendly popup viewer.
Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer


View Photo Gallery

Winter 2006 Bridge Photo-Documentation

A collection of overview and detail photos, taken Winter 2006. This photo gallery contains a combination of Original Size photos and Mobile Optimized photos in a touch-friendly popup viewer.
Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer


Maps and Links: Lincoln Road Bridge

This historic bridge has been demolished. This map is shown for reference purposes only.

Coordinates (Latitude, Longitude):

Search For Additional Bridge Listings:

Bridgehunter.com: View listed bridges within 0.5 miles (0.8 kilometers) of this bridge.

Bridgehunter.com: View listed bridges within 10 miles (16 kilometers) of this bridge.

HistoricBridges.org Bridge Browser: View listed bridges within 0.5 miles (0.8 kilometers) of this bridge.

HistoricBridges.org Bridge Browser: View listed bridges within 10 miles (16 kilometers) of this bridge.

2021 National Bridge Inventory: View listed bridges within 0.5 miles (0.8 kilometers) of this bridge.

Additional Maps:

Google Maps

Google Streetview (If Available)

Bing Maps


GeoHack (Additional Links and Coordinates)

Apple Maps (Via DuckDuckGo Search)

Apple Maps (Apple devices only)


HERE We Go Maps

ACME Mapper

Waze Map

Android: Open Location In Your Map or GPS App

Flickr Gallery (Find Nearby Photos)

Wikimedia Commons (Find Nearby Photos)

Directions Via Sygic For Android

Directions Via Sygic For iOS and Android Dolphin Browser

USGS National Map (United States Only)

Historical USGS Topo Maps (United States Only)

Historic Aerials (United States Only)

CalTopo Maps (United States Only)

Home Top


About - Contact

© Copyright 2003-2024, HistoricBridges.org. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer: HistoricBridges.org is a volunteer group of private citizens. HistoricBridges.org is NOT a government agency, does not represent or work with any governmental agencies, nor is it in any way associated with any government agency or any non-profit organization. While we strive for accuracy in our factual content, HistoricBridges.org offers no guarantee of accuracy. Information is provided "as is" without warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied. Information could include technical inaccuracies or errors of omission. Opinions and commentary are the opinions of the respective HistoricBridges.org member who made them and do not necessarily represent the views of anyone else, including any outside photographers whose images may appear on the page in which the commentary appears. HistoricBridges.org does not bear any responsibility for any consequences resulting from the use of this or any other HistoricBridges.org information. Owners and users of bridges have the responsibility of correctly following all applicable laws, rules, and regulations, regardless of any HistoricBridges.org information.

Admin Login