This bascule bridge features a combined highway and railroad deck, and is the main vehicular access to Zug Island. It is located in the Delray neighborhood of Detroit. Pennsylvania Steel Company was the superstructure contractor. Substructure contractor was Ginzel and Towler of Detroit, and the substructure design by the Engineering Dept. of Solvay Process Company. The bascule was the design of the famous Scherzer Rolling Lift Bridge Company.
There used to be two bridges at this location, the other bridge being a short distance east of this bridge. The other bridge was known as Bridge 210, also of the Delray Connecting Railroad. They were so close to each other, that a single bridgetender house was used for both bridges, and it was mounted on the other bridge. The other bridge was demolished, but the supporting structures that once supported the leaf, counterweight, and track remain in place as well as the bridgetender house which continues to be used for this bridge.
Total length given is an estimate. The span length is believed to be the bascule span length. Navigation charts show the navigable clearance to be 120 feet.
Please note only a limited photo gallery taken from a car is available for this bridge. This bridge and island is privately owned and access is fiercely defended by the security on the island. Do not approach the bridge unless you want to be forced to delete your photos off your camera with the guard's hand in contact with his firearm, a situation that someone else reported to HistoricBridges.org. The photos of this bridge were taken from Springwells Court, which is believed to have been a public road that ended in a cul-du-sac near the bridge, allowing for legal photography under United States law. However the new Gordie Howe Bridge is being built in this area, and perhaps related to that, it appears this road may be permanently removed as only gravel was present where a concrete road used to be. The actual Zug Island Road leading to the bridge may be public as well, however anyone attempting photos from that road should be aware that it leads directly to private property (the bridge) and many private security guards are unaware of US law as it relates to photography from public property and may confront visitors approaching the bridge.
Note there is another semi-historic bascule bridge (semi-historic because it was built in 1922 with the leaf replaced in 1957) on the south side of the island, but with no public roads of any kind, it is not possible to list this bridge on HistoricBridges.org unless someone has access to a boat and can get photos and share them with HistoricBridges.org. Please contact us if that is the case. A third bridge to the island, a swing bridge, is on the west side and is a modern welded 1976 bridge, and is not historic.
Please also see our River Rouge Bridges Part 2 Presentation for much more information and photos on the history of this and all the other Zug Island Bridges, which was created with the help of local railroad experts at the Michigan Railroad Club.
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