This bridge has a 1920 construction date listed in the National Bridge Inventory with a 1952 rehabilitation date. This is incorrect, since the piers and superstructure date to 1952. The 1952 rehab date refers to the complete replacement of a previous metal truss bridge likely dating to soon after 1887. A historical aerial image shows that the previous bridge at this location was a two span metal through truss. The 1952 bridge is a rare Michigan example of a curved t-beam that crosses water. Most curved t-beams were on freeway overpasses in Michigan. This bridge does not retain its original railings, which may have been metal type R4 railings which were the most common railing during the 1950s in Michigan. Today aesthetic concrete balustrade railings have replaced the original railings. The new railings are nice looking on the bridge, but since they do not appear to follow the original railing design, they do diminish the historic integrity of the bridge somewhat. Otherwise, the historic integrity of the bridge is good.
Lisa Gessner from the Monroe County Museum assisted with putting together some of the history of Monroe's bridges. Monroe was long ago the site of not one, but two cast iron Whipple arch bridges. The Whipple arch was one of the first iron bridges built in substantial numbers in the United States. Most were built over the Erie Canal in New York State. A Whipple arch was located on Macomb Street, and another one on Monroe Street. An earlier bridge at this location was a ca. 1868 cast iron Whipple arch bowstring bridge. It was destroyed in an icy flood in 1887. Two photos are shown below.
Above: Historical photo showing the destruction of the Macomb Street Bridge by icy flood in 1887.
Above: Historical photo showing the very similar Monroe Street Bridge.
Above: After the destruction of the Macomb Street Whipple arch bridge, it was replaced with this Pratt through truss bridge, which remained until replaced by the concrete bridge in 1952.
This historic bridge has been demolished. This map is shown for reference purposes only.
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