This bridge is a noteworthy example of an early, ca. 1922 Michigan State Highway Department concrete arch bridge. It is located on an old highway alignment that has been abandoned for decades. The deck has a fair amount of soil on top and a surprising amount of grass, trees, and bushes are currently thriving on the deck.
Plaques have been stolen from the bridge. They were originally mounted on the abutments.
The Michigan State Highway Department's 9th Biennial Report for 1922 displays a photo of a bridge captioned as East Branch of Firesteel River. The photo is shown below. Elsewhere in the report, the bridge and photo is referenced, but is referred to as crossing the South Branch of the Firesteel River. The photo shows a bridge identical or nearly identical to this West Branch Firesteel River Bridge. Given the inconsistencies in the report, it is not sure exactly what bridge the photo refers to. Perhaps it actually is a photo of the West Branch Firesteel River Bridge. In either case, it is quite possible that similar structures were built over the branches of the river in this area. The photo is certainly representative of what the West Branch Firesteel River Bridge would have looked like when completed. Note that the original bridge, like the bridge seen today, has no railings of any kind. Among surviving Michigan State Highway Department arch bridges, this is unusual, most bridges were built with railings.
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