This bridge was the first bridge to be placed in Calhoun
County's Historic Bridge Park. It is a half-hip Pratt pony truss. It is composed
of four panels making up a 64 foot bridge. The width of the deck is 14 feet. The
bridge was built in 1897 by the Michigan Bridge Company. It features pinned
connections, and has v-lacing on the verticals and under the top chord. There
are a number of remaining half-hip pony truss bridges left in Michigan, although
few are preserved, and most are abandoned. The preservation of this bridge is important because
it is a representative example of a once-common type of bridge that is quickly
The following description credited to Elaine Davis.
Formerly spanning the Rabbit River in Hopkins Township, Allegan
County,Michigan, the bridge is known today as the 133rd Avenue Bridge.
It was built in 1897 by the Michigan Bridge Company of Portland,
Michigan,owned by Samuel S. Ramsey and his son, Claude. In 1993, the
bridge was considered unable to support vehicular traffic and was closed
while the county scheduled the bridge for replacement.
It is a small bridge - only 64 feet long - and for a span of 96 years,it
carried farm residents over the river on its single span. The road was
laid out between the times of publication of two plat maps, 1873 and
1895, to carry farm traffic to and from connecting roads to the rural
schools and churches, to markets in nearby small towns such as Hopkins
and Hilliards and to the L.S.M.S. railroad depot at Hopkins Station.
The Rabbit River is shallow where 133rd Avenue crosses, and perhaps in
the early years travelers forded the river. As the demand for good roads
year around increased, and as heavy steam traction equipment came into
use for harvesting, the need for a strong bridge grew. High water in
January 1897 washed out the small bridge there. In late April, 1897, the
Hopkins Township board let the contract for the iron bridge to the
Michigan Bridge Co. for $715.
The technical description for the 133rd Ave. Bridge is a four-panel
half-hip pin-connected Pratt steel truss, 64feet long, with a 14 foot
roadway. It was removed from Allegan County in 1998 to the Calhoun
County Road Commission shop where it was repaired, cleaned and
repainted. Then it was re-erected in the Calhoun County Historic Bridge
Park in 1999, to serve as a pedestrian bridge, and it has the honor of
being the first bridge placed in the park. It is expected to be good
for another hundred years!
This bridge is tagged with the following special condition(s): Reused
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Maps and Links: 133rd Avenue Bridge
The above map shows the current location of the bridge. The bridge originally crossed the Rabbit River on 133rd Avenue, Allegan County, Michigan