This bridge is an extremely rare surviving example of a state standard highway plate girder bridge in Michigan. While some states like Pennsylvania built enormous quantities of highway plate girders, Michigan built very few. Nearly all examples in Michigan have been destroyed. This bridge has been abandoned and closed to all traffic, after serving pedestrian and snowmobile traffic for a number of years. Given the rarity of this bridge type in Michigan, a high level of priority should be given to the restoration of this historic bridge.
Information and Findings From Michigan Historic Bridge Inventory
This medium-scale steel bridge carries Wolkoff Road
over the Au Train River about a half-mile east of the town of Au Train.
The structure is comprised of a single plate girder span, flanked on
each end by a steel stringer approach span. These are supported by
concrete full-height abutments and concrete-filled steel cylinder piers.
The main span features two 60-foot through girders, joined by four
underslung I-beam stringers. A builder's plate on the girder identifies
its fabricator: the Worden-Allen Company of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The Au
Train River Bridge is currently limited to pedestrian and snowmobile
traffic, with the roadway partially blocked by 55-gallon drums and Armco
railing. Its alterations are relatively minor: the approach span gaurdrails and perhaps the spans themselves have been replaced.
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