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Davis Creek Railroad Bridge

Davis Creek Railroad Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: 2006

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Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Railroad (Abandoned) Over Davis Creek
Kalamazoo: Kalamazoo County, Michigan: United States
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
By Builder/Contractor: Unknown
Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
Not Available
Structure Length
Not Available
Roadway Width
Not Available
1 Main Span(s)
Inventory Number
Not Applicable

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
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Bridge Documentation

A Revolutionary Bridge Design: Can You Believe It?!

Just off of the BL-94 leading out of Kalamazoo to I-94, hundreds of people pass by the most remarkable bridge design ever seen. This breathtaking structure eliminates, piers, abutments, and even beams, and represents the most efficient of bridge designs. With no piers and abutments, the rails themselves form the bridge structure, relying only on the rails leading up to the bridge for support! Wooden railroad ties provide stability to the structure. The engineering design of this bridge combines the laws of the cantilever bridge, the suspension bridge, and the steel stringer bridge all into one convenient and economical design. The rails cantilever out from the rails leading up to the structure. Then, acting as parallel beams that function as a stringer structure. Slight flex in the connections between each rail section provides a slight suspension design as well.

While other railroad companies were contracting companies to built expensive and bulky plate girders and truss bridges, this unknown company learned that the very rails that the train travels upon were more than enough to compose a small bridge. One can only guess when this bridge might have been built. It has not had the opportunity to demonstrate its ingenious design for decades, to be sure, as there is extensive growth on the tracks leading up to the bridge.

Could You Repeat That?!

OK, folks, this isn't for real! You found it, buried amongst thousands bridges on this website: the official gag bridge! This is really just a culvert that got the dirt above the culverts washed away in a flood, which left the abandoned railroad tracks hanging in midair! This "structure" was spotted while leaving Kalamazoo one day, and we thought it would be fun to add it to the website as a joke. In light of all the tragic historic bridge demolitions going on, it is a nice opportunity to sit back and laugh for a bit!


Photo Galleries and Videos: Davis Creek Railroad Bridge


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Maps and Links: Davis Creek Railroad Bridge

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

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