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Marshall Avenue Rice Creek Bridge

Marshall Avenue Rice Creek Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: Fall 2005 and November 8, 2012

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Marshall Avenue Over Rice Creek
Location
Marshall: Calhoun County, Michigan: United States
Structure Type
Stone Semicircular Deck Arch, Fixed
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1899 By Builder/Contractor: Unknown

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
1995
Main Span Length
25 Feet (8 Meters)
Structure Length
82 Feet (25 Meters)
Roadway Width
30.8 Feet (9.39 Meters)
Spans
3 Main Span(s)
NBI Number
134422800063B01

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)

Bridge Documentation

View Archived National Bridge Inventory Report - Has Additional Details and Evaluation

Stone arch bridges, particularly on highways, are extremely rare in Michigan. As a three-span structure, this bridge is particularly significant for its relatively long, multi-span configuration. The bridge is in fact the longest known stone highway bridge in Michigan. The bridge is three spans, but the southern span is mostly filled in with dirt for reasons which are unclear. The structure was preserved in 1995-1996 and remains today in excellent condition.

Information and Findings From Michigan Historic Bridge Inventory

Narrative Description

The Marshall Avenue Bridge is eligible for the National Register as an example of a stone masonry-arch bridge, a structural type that is extremely rare in Michigan.

Despite an abundance of stone in various forms throughout the state and an indigenous tradition of masonry construction, bridges were rarely built of stone in Michigan. Only a handful of stone masonry spans remain in place today, all of which employ short-span arches that spring from stone sidewalls. Multiple-span stone-arch bridges are particularly unusual.

Very little information is available about the history of the three-span Marshall Avenue Bridge, but the construction date of 1899 provided by bridge inspection reports seems reasonable. It was renovated in 1951. It was apparently at this time that the arch barrels and inside surfaces of the railings were coated with concrete, greatly detracting from the original design. Another renovation in 1996 removed the concrete from the railings, restoring much of the structure's original appearance.

Information and Findings From Michigan Historic Sites Online

Narrative Description

The Marshall Avenue Bridge crosses Rice Creek in a residential neighborhood in the city of Marshall, the county seat of Calhoun County. The bridge is comprised of three twenty-five foot stone-arch spans. The structure's random range work rises to create solid railings along the forty-two foot wide deck, which holds two sidewalks and a thirty-five foot wide roadway. The stonework also continues at each end of the bridge to form the abutments and flared wing walls. The bridge, situated on a north-south axis, is a few blocks south of a National Historic Landmark District that encompasses 867 buildings. Ketchum Park and a dam are located to the east of the bridge.

Statement of Significance

The Marshall Avenue Bridge is eligible for the National Register under Criterion C as an example of a stone masonry-arch bridge, a structural type that is extremely rare in Michigan because the state has few good sources of building stone. Michigan can claim only a handful of stone masonry spans, all of which employ short-span arches that spring from stone sidewalls. Multiple-span stone-arch bridges are particularly unusual. The Marshall Avenue Bridge owes its stone-arch design to a deposit of sandstone in the vicinity of Marshall. Very little information is available about the history of the three-span structure, but the construction date of 1899 provided by the bridge inspection reports seems reasonable. It was renovated in 1951. It was apparently at this time that the arch barrels and inside surfaces of the railings were coated with concrete, greatly detracting from the original design. Another renovation in 1996 removed the concrete and restored the structure's original appearance.

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Photo Galleries and Videos: Marshall Avenue Rice Creek Bridge

 
View Photo Gallery
2012 Bridge Photo-Documentation
Original / Full Size Photos
A collection of overview and detail photos, taken 2012. This gallery offers photos in the highest available resolution and file size in a touch-friendly popup viewer. Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer
View Photo Gallery
2012 Bridge Photo-Documentation
Mobile Optimized Photos
A collection of overview and detail photos, taken 2012 This gallery features data-friendly, fast-loading photos in a touch-friendly popup viewer. Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer
View Photo Gallery
2005 Bridge Photo-Documentation
A collection of overview and detail photos. This photo gallery contains a combination of Original Size photos and Mobile Optimized photos in a touch-friendly popup viewer. Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer

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Maps and Links: Marshall Avenue Rice Creek Bridge

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