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Well's Bridge

1/2 Mile Road Bridge / Marl Lake Road Bridge

Well's Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: 2006

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Marl Lake Road (1/2 Mile Road) Over Nottawa Creek (Nottawassepee River)
Rural: Branch County, Michigan and Calhoun County, Michigan: United States
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1904 By Builder/Contractor: Unknown

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
80 Feet (24.4 Meters)
Structure Length
80 Feet (24.4 Meters)
Roadway Width
15 Feet (4.57 Meters)
1 Main Span(s)
NBI Number

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
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Bridge Documentation

View Archived National Bridge Inventory Report - Has Additional Details and Evaluation

This bridge is listed in the inventories as being in Calhoun County, although the two counties have long disputed who actually owns this county line bridge. Either way, recent developments have resulted in plans to relocate the bridge to Historic Bridge Park.

The water this bridge crosses goes by two names. It is called Nottawassepee River or Nottawa Creek The root meaning of the "ssepee" is Algonquin for "creek" or "river", and so Nottawassepee River could be considered redundant. Thanks to Dave Lemberg for providing this information.

This bridge is a pin connected Pratt through truss, and is composed of five panels. It is seated on concrete abutments. These abutments, particularly the southern one, are failing, as they are tipping inward to the river. This can be seen by the crooked appearance of the feet of this bridge, which are no longer flat on the abutment. There is v-lacing present on the vertical members, which is on the "side" of the vertical members, which is the less common configuration. Simple channel steel provides a railing for the bridge. The portal bracing is a lattice design. The plaques for this bridge are lost, but the brackets for the portal-mounted plaques remain.

Although the inventories list a 1914 date for the construction of this bridge, this is likely a data entry error. 1904 seems a more reasonable date of construction for this bridge.

Calhoun County at one time planned to relocate this bridge to Historic Bridge Park, however the county no longer is planning to add bridges to the park, and so the bridge's future is uncertain, particularly considering that the bridge has abutment problems. Left as it is for too many years, the abutments would eventually begin to twist the superstructure of the bridge, which would go on until it caused the bridge to collapse. A good example of this is the Maple Rapids Road Bridge, which is also a short through truss bridge. The relocation of this bridge would ensure that this treasure remains around for people to enjoy.

This bridge is tagged with the following special condition(s): Available


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