As MDOT's website notes, this is one of only three remaining through parker trusses in the whole state. The bridge is 224 feet long and was built in 1907. This bridge is most similar to the Turner Road Bridge, which is not too far away. Both were built by Wynkoop and McGormley of Toledo, Ohio. The third parker truss is smaller and quite different looking, and is the Upton Road Bridge. With the Kent Street Bridge, its impressive size, pinned connections, the curved top chord, the v-laced members and bracing, and the extent of the bracing make this a bridge that is extremely beautiful. Geometric intricacy is what makes truss bridges so beautiful, and this bridge is certainly intricate. This bridge is one of several historic truss bridges restored in the city of Portland, which is a model for how historic bridges should be being treated across the country. By restoring these bridges, Portland has not only preserved history and created attractions for the city, they have also allowed these bridges to continue serving a functional use, which in the case of Kent Street is to provide a crossing for a non-motorized trail.
Above: View from I-96 shoulder.
Information and Findings From Michigan Historic Bridge Inventory
The 224' long Kent Street bridge over the Grand River in Ionia County was built in 1907. It is one of only three Parker through trusses identified in the Historic Bridge Inventory. Parker trusses became popular around the turn of the 19th century for longer bridges in the 150-230 foot range. The term Parker refers to the use of a polygonal top chord on what is essentially a Pratt truss. The top chord gives the bridge an arched appearance.
The manufacturer during the last quarter of the 19th century into the early decades of the twentieth century. The builder, Wynkoop & McGormley of Toledo, Ohio, was a significant midwestern metal truss bridge firm through the last quarter of the nineteenth century and the early decades of the twentieth century. The 1910 Turner Street bridge, also over the Grand River in Ionia County, is another Parker Through Truss built by the same firm. The third Parker through truss is located in a park in Clinton County near Upton Road, Elsie.
This bridge is tagged with the following special condition(s): Reused and Unorganized Photos
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