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Grand Rapids Railroad Bridge

Grand Rapids Railroad Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth and Rick McOmber

Bridge Documented: October 18, 2008 and November 6, 2021

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Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Railroad (Former Nickel Plate Road) Over Maumee River
Location
Grand Rapids: Lucas County, Ohio and Wood County, Ohio: United States
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1916 By Builder/Contractor: Toledo Bridge and Crane Company of Toledo, Ohio
Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
150.0 Feet (45.7 Meters)
Structure Length
901.0 Feet (274.6 Meters)
Roadway Width
Not Available
Spans
6 Main Span(s)
Inventory Number
Not Applicable

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
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Bridge Documentation

This bridge is a large six span through truss bridge. Northwestern Ohio has very few large historic bridges because aside from the Maumee River which this bridge crosses, there are very few rivers that are of significant size. As such, this bridge is locally significant as a significant multi-span truss bridge. The bridge appears to retain good structural and historic integrity.

A Bit of Advice When Trying To Preserve A Historic Bridge

This bridge is today owned by the Toledo and Lake Erie and Western Railway and Museum.

When HistoricBridges.org revisited this bridge in 2021, we were greeted at the southern portal of this bridge with the most unwelcoming situation ever encountered with a bridge owned by a historical society or museum or otgher preservation-oriented group. The entire area around the south portal was roped off at a significant distance from the portal. This area also had numerous threatening signs saying that photography of any kind was prohibited. The icing on the cake was some piece of rail equipment that was left on the bridge, which meant if anyone did try to photograph the bridge legally from adjacent public property the photos looked like garbage. In other words, this bridge was more inhospitable to photography than busy, active railroad bridges owned by major railroad companies. Ironically, the museum that owns this bridge is actually trying to raise funds to preserve this bridge and open it for use by tourist trains. While concerns of liability are understandable, if you are trying to raise interest in a historic bridge you really need to make every effort to make it easy for visitors to view and photograph the bridge, and to to truly appreciate the bridge's beauty and history, if you want to inspire people to actually open their wallets. This museum has failed terribly at that. 

HistoricBridges.org offers the following advice to encourage greater quantity and quality of donations to restore this bridge:

1. Allow anyone to walk up to the portal of the bridge and take photos. Limit any roping of the bridge to directly under the portal. Remove all equipment from the bridge deck so that the view is unobstructed.

2.  Expand the scope of work in the proposed project to include conversion of the deck to a hybrid design allowing for both pedestrian and train use. When tourist trains are not running, open the bridge to pedestrian use. This will vastly expand the pool of donations beyond railfans to also include anyone who enjoys history, walking, etc.  

 


This bridge is tagged with the following special condition(s): Unorganized Photos

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Photo Galleries and Videos: Grand Rapids Railroad Bridge

 

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Bridge Photo-Documentation

Original / Full Size Photos
A collection of overview and detail photos. This gallery offers photos in the highest available resolution and file size in a touch-friendly popup viewer.
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Bridge Photo-Documentation

Mobile Optimized Photos
A collection of overview and detail photos. This gallery features data-friendly, fast-loading photos in a touch-friendly popup viewer.
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View Photo Gallery

Additional Unorganized Photos

Original / Full Size Photos
A supplemental collection of photos that are from additional visit(s) to the bridge and have not been organized or captioned. This gallery offers photos in the highest available resolution and file size in a touch-friendly popup viewer.
Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer

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View Photo Gallery

Additional Unorganized Photos

Mobile Optimized Photos
A supplemental collection of photos that are from additional visit(s) to the bridge and have not been organized or captioned. This gallery features data-friendly, fast-loading photos in a touch-friendly popup viewer.
Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer

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Maps and Links: Grand Rapids Railroad Bridge

Coordinates (Latitude, Longitude):

Search For Additional Bridge Listings:

Bridgehunter.com: View listed bridges within 0.5 miles (0.8 kilometers) of this bridge.

Bridgehunter.com: View listed bridges within 10 miles (16 kilometers) of this bridge.

HistoricBridges.org Bridge Browser: View listed bridges within 0.5 miles (0.8 kilometers) of this bridge.

HistoricBridges.org Bridge Browser: View listed bridges within 10 miles (16 kilometers) of this bridge.

2021 National Bridge Inventory: View listed bridges within 0.5 miles (0.8 kilometers) of this bridge.

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