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Bridge Street Bridge

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Bridge Street Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: Summer 2005, September 27, 2010, and June 3, 2011

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Bridge Street Over Grand River
Portland: Ionia County, Michigan: United States
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1890 By Builder/Contractor: Groton Bridge Company of Groton, New York

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Main Span Length
105 Feet (32 Meters)
Structure Length
210 Feet (64 Meters)
Roadway Width
15 Feet (4.57 Meters)
2 Main Span(s)
NBI Number

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
View Information About HSR Ratings

Bridge Documentation

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

View Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) Documentation For This Bridge

View A Historical Article About Frank Conger, A Creator of Groton Bridge and Manufacturing Company

Frank M. Conger

This bridge is one of the largest (as a two-span example) and most complete examples of a rather ornate bridge plan/design that Groton Bridge and Manufacturing Company of Groton, NY built that remain today. As such it is significant on a national level as a key example of the work of an important bridge company. The bridge has been listed as a Michigan Historic Civil Engineering Landmark.

So many times a road or street in a city was named Bridge Street, and so often today that name sounds exciting but usually reveals an ugly slab bridge. This is one Bridge Street that deserves its name. Portland has treated their historic bridges well, and has even brought more historic bridges into their city from the surrounding rural area. Portland is a very special city that has embraced historic truss bridges as the key attraction to their city in a way that no other city has. They have preserved more truss bridges than any other city in Michigan. The city logo actually includes an abstract rendition of the trusses of this bridge as the main part of the logo. Portland is a model city for showing the important potential that historic bridges have to enrich a community.

This bridge is a two-span pin connected Pratt through truss. It was built in 1890 by the Groton Bridge Company of Groton New York.  Plaques remain on top of the latticed portal bracing on this bridge. Decorative finials adorn the end posts of this bridge. V-lacing is present on vertical members. The sway bracing has a bit of a arch shape, and is latticed. The metal grate deck and modern Armco car guardrails are not original. Original ornate railing on the cantilevered sidewalks remain on the bridge.

This bridge forms an attractive, historic, and exciting entry into the downtown of Portland. It does not provide an exit however, as it is one-way. With a two-way crossing nearby, this was a fine way to eliminate the "dangers" that people in charge of bridges often fret about with historic one-lane bridges.

Information and Findings From Michigan Historic Bridge Inventory

The Bridge Street bridge is a rare two-span metal through truss, with two spans 100 feet in length, featuring decorative treatment of the end posts. This is the oldest known surviving example of a truss bridge built in Michigan by the Gorton Bridge and Manufacturing Company of Gorton, New York, a significant eastern bridge manufacturing firm.

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


Photo Galleries and Videos: Bridge Street Bridge

View Photo Gallery
2005 Bridge Photo-Documentation
A collection of overview and detail photos. This photo gallery contains a combination of Original Size photos and Mobile Optimized photos in a touch-friendly popup viewer. Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer
View Photo Gallery
2010-2011 Additional Unorganized Photos
Original / Full Size Photos
A supplemental collection of photos that are from additional visit(s) to the bridge and have not been organized or captioned. This gallery offers photos in the highest available resolution and file size in a touch-friendly popup viewer. Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer
View Photo Gallery
2010-2011 Additional Unorganized Photos
Mobile Optimized Photos
A supplemental collection of photos that are from additional visit(s) to the bridge and have not been organized or captioned. This gallery features data-friendly, fast-loading photos in a touch-friendly popup viewer. Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer
View Video
Southbound Crossing
Full Motion Video
Driving southbound on this one-way bridge. Streaming video of the bridge. Also includes a higher quality downloadable video for greater clarity or offline viewing.


Maps and Links: Bridge Street Bridge

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