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Old US-41 Big Cedar River Bridge

Old US-41 Big Cedar River Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: October 1, 2012

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Golf Course Pathway Over Golf Course Waterway
Rural: Menominee County, Michigan: United States
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1918 By Builder/Contractor: Unknown

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
59 Feet (18 Meters)
Structure Length
62 Feet (18.9 Meters)
Roadway Width
20 Feet (6.1 Meters)
1 Main Span(s)
NBI Number

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
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Bridge Documentation

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

View Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) Documentation For This Bridge

HAER Data Pages, PDF

View The Sweetgrass Golf Club Official Website

About This Bridge

This bridge originally was located in Spalding, Michigan in Menominee County. It carried Old US-41, which was also cosigned with US-2, over the Big Cedar River. The bridge was replaced in 1995. At the time, the Historic American Engineering Record documented the bridge. At this time, the bridge was planned to be moved to Chassell, Michigan to be used as a pedestrian bridge across the Pike River, which would have prevented the demolition of this bridge as part of the replacement project. However, this plan apparently fell through at some point, which might have put the bridge at risk for demolition again. However, the Sweetgrass Golf Club acquired the bridge and moved it onto its golf course, saving the bridge from demolition. Today, the bridge is one of the most visually prominent of the golf course's five historic metal truss bridges. It is the largest central span of a waterway crossing on the course. The approach spans of this crossing are a wooden causeway. The positioning of this bridge as a central span in a causeway helps make the bridge visually prominent and easy to view. The surrounding topography of the course also enables nice elevated views of the bridge from the southwest quadrant around the bridge. The bridge is located near Hole 17 on the course.

This bridge is a fairly uncommon example of its type in Michigan. Compared to other states, few truss bridges were built in Michigan after 1915. With its full slope end posts, the bridge's visual geometry has a neat and orderly appearance to it. All parts of the bridge assembled in the shop use fasters for rivets. However, the parts that had to be put together in the field were bolted instead, likely to avoid the need to use field riveting. This is unusual because in 1918, field riveting was readily available. The use of bolted connections was not common until the second half of the 20th Century, when bolted connections became preferred over riveted connections. At the time this bridge was built, all-riveted connections would have been the standard. As such, this bridge is an early example of a rigid-connected truss bridge with bolted connections instead of riveted connections.


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Maps and Links: Old US-41 Big Cedar River Bridge

This bridge is located on a golf course and is private property, open to golf course users only.

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