This bridge is a southwestern Michigan example of a bridge that falls into the world of such bridges as the M-54 Bridge and the M-53 Bridge. As you can see, these bridges, following a Michigan State Highway Department design, show up on trunkline or former trunkline bridges, this bridge being no exception. This Michigan Avenue bridge is more like M-54 than M-53. Each one is a bit different, particularly in the abutment or pier department, as the styling tends to vary. Variations in width of roadway and whether sidewalks are present on the road are in part responsible for these differences. This Michigan Avenue Overpass is actually a through plate girder rather than a deck girder as is the case with the other two bridges discussed on this page. The bridge carries two sets of tracks on its deck, as well as a cantilevered walkway on both sides of the bridge. The bridge passes over five lanes of highway traffic. Abutments are massive, and are concrete with a tunnel of sorts to allow for sidewalks. The bridge, although carrying railroad traffic, has some highway-like features such as the MSHD standard railings and plaque.
The plaque is very large and provides a fair amount of information. When this bridge was built, the Michigan Central Railroad was who owned the trackage, and so they are credited on the plaque. The bridge was a U.S. Works Program bridge, and was built in 1937. W.J. Storen Company was listed as the contractor for the bridge. Association with Depression-era relief funds adds to the bridge's historic significance.
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