Finding a truss bridge open to traffic is hard to do in Michigan. Finding one with paint on it is hard to do also. Yet this bridge was found with a decent coat of paint on it open to traffic. Even more unbelievable was the weight limit, which was for a Michigan pony truss a record high: 19-43-54 ton weight limit! The shear strength of this beautiful bridge was demonstrated by the passing of an asphalt truck over it as shown above. It goes to show that with proper maintenance a truss bridge can hold a lot of weight.
The bridge is a Warren pony truss and is composed of four panels. According to the Michigan Historic Bridge Inventory, the bridge was built in 1910 and is 48 feet in length. The bridge sits on concrete abutments. The deck looks to have been redone, as it is asphalt on top of a modern type of corrugated steel. The bridge lacks original railings, and the bridge's built-up beams have no v-lacing or lattice and instead use only battens. Despite this, the bridge still manages to be photogenic. It is one of those truss bridges that is out in the middle of nowhere. With no trees or bushes in the way, you can easily get great photos of the actual structure of the bridge. Surrounding farmland and barns and such give this bridge that classic rural farm truss feeling. There is not a lot of traffic on Lewis Road, but enough that you will not have a problem witnessing other people using the bridge.
The connections on this bridge riveted, but bolts are present at the connections that were assembled in the field, meaning that no field riveting was done on this bridge. The trusses were brought to the site in sections and bolted together.
Neighboring Kent Road also crosses Little Salt Creek just around the intersection, although it is a most distasteful slab of concrete not worthy to be called a bridge.
Unfortunately, after photo-documenting this bridge, this bridge was demolished and replaced. It is unclear why money was wasted to do this when such a strong bridge in good condition could easily have been rehabilitated.
This historic bridge has been demolished. This map is shown for reference purposes only.
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