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This bridge is similar, but not the same, as the Saginaw Railroad Swing Bridge, which also originally served Michigan Central Railroad. It is possible then that Michigan Central may have contracted the Wisconsin Bridge and Iron Company, builder of the Saginaw bridge, to build this Bay City bridge as well. Alternatively, both bridges may have been designed by Michigan Central using the same standard plan which would also account for the similarity in appearance. Like the Saginaw bridge, the Bay City Bridge has fixed through truss approach spans. This is due to the fact that Saginaw River is quite wide, and only a small portion of the bridge needed to open for boats. The Bay City spans differ from the Saginaw spans because they have v-lacing on the top chord. On the Bay City bridge, these stationary spans are two in number, and are located at the west end of the bridge. One large through plate girder span provides an eastern approach. The configuration of the swing span is a Pratt design.
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