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Michigan Central Railroad Kettle Creek Bridge

St. Thomas Elevated Park

Michigan Central Railroad Kettle Creek Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Dave Stinchcombe

Bridge Documented: Summer 2011

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Key Facts

St. Thomas: Elgin County, Ontario: Canada
Structure Type
Metal Deck Girder, Fixed
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1929 By Builder/Contractor: D.W. Thurston of Detroit, Michigan

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
75 Feet (22.9 Meters)
Structure Length
855 Feet (260.6 Meters)
Roadway Width
Not Available
14 Main Span(s)
NBI Number
Not Applicable

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
View Information About HSR Ratings

Bridge Documentation

This bridge sits on a historic railway crossing that dates back to 1871. The current structure seen today dates to 1929. While its superstructure of two parallel deck plate girder structures which provided a double-track deck are traditional in composition and do not offer anything unique or unusual, the substructure upon which these spans rest is quite interesting indeed. Rather than using steel bents as was common for high level railroad bridges of this type, the bridge sits on massive concrete piers that give the bridge a striking, imposing appearance. There is one exception. The bridge crosses over a road that crosses under the bridge at a skew right where a pier for the railroad bridge would need to be. To deal with this problem, a special steel bent is employed that allows the beams that support the bridge to be located on either side of the road. This single pier only adds to the landmark identity of the bridge, giving it an appearance shared by no other bridge.

Read the Heritage Impact Report linked below for a detailed history of the bridge and previous bridges at this location.

This bridge has been, with substantial community support, been converted into a linear park and trail called the St. Thomas Elevated Park.

The historic and technological significance of the bridge is recognized by the Canadian Society for Civil Engineer as a National Historic Civil Engineering Site as indicated by a plaque on the bridge.

View the official website for this bridge.

View Heritage Impact Report For This Bridge


Photo Galleries and Videos: Michigan Central Railroad Kettle Creek Bridge

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Maps and Links: Michigan Central Railroad Kettle Creek Bridge

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