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Thornapple River Railroad Bridge

Cascade Railroad Bridge

Thornapple River Railroad Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: December 2005

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Railroad (CSX) Over Thornapple River
Location
Rural (Near Cascade): Kent County, Michigan: United States
Structure Type
Metal 6 Panel Rivet-Connected Warren Deck Truss, Fixed and Approach Spans: Metal Deck Girder, Fixed
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
By Builder/Contractor: Unknown

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
Not Available
Structure Length
Not Available
Roadway Width
Not Available
Spans
3 Main Span(s) and 2 Approach Span(s)
NBI Number
Not Applicable

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)

Bridge Documentation

Michigan does not have a lot of deck truss bridges, mostly because a lack of deep river valleys create a small amount of clearance between the level of the approaching roadway and the river below. As such, deck truss bridges are not generally an appropriate choice in Michigan because such a structure would leave little clearance between bridge and water level. Clearance apparently was not a concern with this river however, as the bridge's trusses sit very close to the river. Normally this would be a risk since during a flood water could rise above the trusses and carry debris into them and causing damage. However, this section of the river acts as a reservoir for a dam located downstream, so it is presumed that the water level and flow can be controlled and does not rise up into a raging torrent after a rain storm or heavy snow melt events. Crossing a river made wider than normal by its reservoir function, the bridge is a fairly long one for Michigan, with three Warren deck truss spans and a deck plate girder approach at each end. The connections on the bridge are riveted. With many built-up beams, V-lacing is present on the diagonals and on some of the bracing. Lattice is present under the top chord. The bridge is also noteworthy for its skew, which is made apparent because the angle of the endposts of this bridge vary in angle, making the bridge look very odd.

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