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This bridge is historically significant as the last remaining truss bridge in Michigan that has been associated with the Elkhart Bridge and Iron Company.
Most through truss bridges that have this general appearance, with a traditional trapezoidal design and fairly lightweight members, have pinned connections, but this bridge has riveted connections instead. Compare this bridge to the late Church Road Bridge, which was a similar structure. The 22 1/2 Mile Road Bridge is unusual because it lacks v-lacing on its vertical members. V-lacing is present under the top chord of this bridge however. This bridge is six panels in length, and sits on concrete abutments. The deck of the bridge is wood. The portal bracing is the a-frame design. Original lattice guardrails remain on this bridge. This bridge was listed with a 1906 construction date, which seems on-target for this design. In 2007, the bridge remained open to traffic with a 10 ton weight limit posted. An attractive blue paint is present on the bridge, but this bridge needs a fresh coat badly. The lower chord connections on this bridge are badly rusted. In fact, this bridge needs a total restoration. It would be great to see Calhoun County step forward and restore this bridge so it continue to carry 22 1/2 Mile Road's light vehicular traffic in its attractive wooded setting. By 2011, this bridge had been closed to all traffic. The future of this bridge is uncertain. Will the county that created the first historic bridge park in the country continue to lead the way in historic preservation by restoring this bridge? This bridge could economically be rehabilitated for continued light vehicular use in this rural location, likely for less than the cost of replacement. Michigan's Local Bridge Program provides funds for rehabilitation.
Information and Findings From Michigan Historic Bridge Inventory
This bridge was built by the Elkhart Bridge and Iron Company of Elkhart, Indiana, one of many medium-sized metal truss bridge companies in the Midwest during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
This bridge is tagged with the following special condition(s): Available and Unorganized Photos
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