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Smiths Crossing Bridge

Smiths Crossing Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth and Rick McOmber

Bridge Documented: 2006 and September 7, 2009

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Smiths Crossing Road (Bailey Bridge Road) Over Tittabawassee River
Mapleton (Rural): Midland County, Michigan: United States
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1907 By Builder/Contractor: Joliet Bridge and Iron Company of Joliet, Illinois

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
150 Feet (45.7 Meters)
Structure Length
300 Feet (91.4 Meters)
Roadway Width
15.4 Feet (4.69 Meters)
2 Main Span(s)
NBI Number

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
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Bridge Documentation

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

Midland County has this, and the newer Currie Parkway Bridge which are both examples of Joliet Bridge Company work. No plaque survives to list Joliet Bridge Company, but the unusual, yet beautiful, portal bracing decorations are exactly like that on the Dehmel Road Bridge, which archival data has associated the Joliet Bridge Company with. As long as the Joliet Bridge Company is in the area of discussion, it should be noted that the State Street Bridge is also a Joliet bridge. Both the State Street Bridge and this Smiths Crossing Bridge are rare examples of multi-span highway truss bridges in Michigan.

Smiths Crossing Road is known as Bailey Bridge Road north of the bridge. Makes one wonder if this bridge was sometimes also known as Bailey Bridge.

This bridge is a beautiful two-span pin connected Pratt through truss. V-lacing is present on the sway bracing, under the top chord and on vertical members. Each span is nine panels in length. The deck is currently asphalt on corrugated steel, resting on steel stringers. The deck is slowly falling apart. Lattice railings are still on the bridge, although sections are missing or falling off the bridge. Armco guardrails had also been added below the lattice. Eyebars on the bridge are the punched type. The bridge sits on concrete abutments and piers. The bridge has rusted, but is still easily in the ballpark for restoration. Given the lack of multi-span truss bridges in Michigan, this bridge should be considered highly significant and given a high priority for rehabilitation.

There has been some discussion in the past of routing a trail system over this bridge, with the bridge being restored for pedestrian use. None of these discussions have been serious yet, but this suggests a possible preservation scenario that would be worthwhile considering.


Photo Galleries and Videos: Smiths Crossing Bridge

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