This bridge is a rare surviving example of a Michigan State Highway Department standard plan truss bridge in Michigan. This design of bridge was the last standardized truss bridge to be constructed in Michigan. The design is distinguished by its massive members, Parker pony truss configuration, and the unusual use of lattice on the top of the top chord and end post instead of cover plate. This bridge is the only surviving multi-span example of this standard plan truss in Michigan. There also is no other highway pony truss in Michigan that exceeds the long 120 foot span length of this bridge. The bridge was rehabilitated in 1998 but after only a handful of years, MDOT had decided to slightly realign M-65 and construct a new high level bridge. Unlike many states however, MDOT did not demolish the historic bridge and instead continued to own the historic bridge, allowing it to stand next to its replacement as a non-motorized crossing, later planning to also allow snowmobile use on the bridge. Thanks to the rehabilitation that occurred only a few years before the bridge's vehicular service ended, the bridge remains in excellent condition today. During rehabilitation, MDOT replicated the original balustrade railings on the approach girder and abutment. The original railings had been replaced years ago. The bridge today retains excellent historic integrity. The bottom chord was filled with concrete at an unknown date. A previous rehabilitation occurred in 1973. The bridge is officially listed as historic on Michigan's Historic Bridge Inventory.
Above: Panoramic view of bridge. Photo Credit: Hans Goeckner
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