This bridge is larger than the other Pratt half-hip pin connected pony trusses that remain in Western Monroe county. It is also older, with an 1899 construction date given by the Michigan Historic Bridge Inventory. While the date is slightly older than some of the other pony trusses in Monroe County, the bridge is quite different and older looking. Oelke Road Bridge has lighter weight vertical members, which are of angles with one set of lattice, rather than two channels with v-lacing or lattice on each side like most of the other bridges in Monroe County. The bridge also differs in that it has pipe guardrails rather than lattice hub guard railing. Pipe guardrail appears to have been a common type of railing on rural truss bridges, but very few examples of it remain, due to the fact most have been replaced with modern railings. This particular example's railings terminate in ball joints, an unusual detail. The bridge also has distinctive cast iron nuts for the connection pins. Finally, the remains of a base for what was plaque mounted to the top chord of the bridge is present on the bridge. The pipe railing with ball joint, the cast iron nuts, the top chord mounted plaque, and the latticed vertical members are all details that the Groton Bridge Company of Groton, New York preferred. The plaque and nuts are particularly distinctive details that combined with the other less distinctive details make it almost certain that the Groton Bridge Company of Groton, New York built this bridge. The bridge retains a wooden deck. It has been closed to traffic for many years, as it is a quite a bit overgrown. The bridge also has extremely severe deterioration at the base of the end posts.
The below photos are courtesy of Ron Fricke and show the bridge as seen partially collapsed in April 2022.
This historic bridge has been demolished. This map is shown for reference purposes only.
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