This bridge is just a half mile north of the 1897-built Cole Road Bridge. Michigan Historic Bridge Inventory gave the default date of 1900 for this Raymond Road bridge, which means they don't know when it was built.
This bridge is in much better condition than the Cole Road Bridge. It sits on stone abutments, but they haven't started to fall apart yet. The truss is in relatively good condition also. Although there is no paint on the bridge and as such there is rust on it, there is no massive section loss or pack rust from the rust that would make restoration of this bridge infeasible. The top chord cover plate, for example, exhibits none of that ribbed appearance that is seen so often on truss bridges from pack rust. The connections of vertical to bottom chord were in relatively good shape also, another traditional trouble spot.
A well worn sign still managed to convey that the weight limit of this bridge before it was closed to traffic, which was three tons. In Michigan today, a bridge that has to drop its weight limit below three tons must be closed. Although technically closed, four-wheelers were observed crossing this bridge during the field visit. At least the bridge still can still serve its purpose for someone. It would be great to see this bridge rehabilitated since it is in decent condition, and is obviously of use to off-road vehicles. It could be restored in place for off-road vehicles and pedestrians. Alternatively, the bridge would be a great candidate for relocation and reuse in a new location. Either way, the bridge deserves more than to be allowed to deteriorate and collapse, or be demolished.
This bridge is tagged with the following special condition(s): Available and Unorganized Photos
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