HistoricBridges.org Menu: HistoricBridges.org Menu:

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

HistoricBridges.org: Bridge Browser

M-21 Grand River Bridge

M-21 Grand River Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: Fall/Winter 2006 and September 3, 2009

View Photos
and Videos
View Maps
and Links

Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
M-21 (Fulton Street) Over Grand River
Ada: Kent County, Michigan: United States
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1957 By Builder/Contractor: Brown Brothers of Lansing, Michigan and Engineer/Design: Michigan State Highway Department

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
70 Feet (21.3 Meters)
Structure Length
480 Feet (146.3 Meters)
Roadway Width
58 Feet (17.68 Meters)
7 Main Span(s)
NBI 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

This bridge was demolished and replaced!

This bridge is a large steel stringer that operates with a pin and hanger system.

This bridge is noteworthy for its length. At 480 feet, it is among Michigan's longest bridges with surviving type R4 railing. The bridge is also wide, as a four-lane structure with sidewalks. The structure is also considerably skewed. The structure retains fair historic integrity. The addition of modern Armco railings to the historic railings diminished the structure's beauty and historic value.

One interesting fact is that the nearby Thornapple River was rerouted during the construction of this bridge.

The demolition and replacement of this bridge was proposed in October 2009 after township officials and residents deemed the bridge an essential "gateway" to Ada Village. They met for a weeklong brainstorming session that addressed ways to redesign Ada. The new M-21 bridge design was suggested, to enhance its role as an entry into the village.

Ada's plans for this crossing represent a waste of money and a poor path to improving the community. For instance, they mention that the new bridge will have an "open railing system." The reality is, if the Armco railings were removed from the existing bridge, not only would the railing system be an "open system" it would be an attractive one as well. Surely a bridge even with a small amount of historical value would add more character to Ada than any modern bridge could. In addition, the bridge is in poor condition, but it could be rehabilitated, likely for less raw dollars than replacement. If Ada wants to improve the appearance of the crossing, they could lobby MDOT to restore the bridge, and remove those ugly modern railings. MDOT has the ability to retrofit the R4 railing with "two-tube" guardrail so that crash protection is provided, but the visual obstructive of the original railings is much less. They could perhaps integrate other architectural elements to the bridge as well, such as flag poles, attractive lighting, etc. The result would not only be a more attractive bridge, but one with some level of historic value to it as well.


Photo Galleries and Videos: M-21 Grand River Bridge

View Photo Gallery
Bridge Photo-Documentation
A collection of overview and detail photos. 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: M-21 Grand River Bridge

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

Coordinates (Latitude, Longitude):

View Bridge Location In:

Bridgehunter.com: View listed bridges within a half mile of this bridge.

Bridgehunter.com: View listed bridges within 10 miles of this bridge.

Google Maps

Google Streetview (If Available)

Bing Maps


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)

CalTopo Maps (United States Only)

Home Top


About - Contact

© Copyright 2003-2021, 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