2018 Update: This bridge has been closed to traffic indefinitely with no immediate plans for repair.
Michigan, unfortunately, has a relatively small number of remaining through truss bridges. Even fewer is the number that remain open to vehicular traffic. The Stancer Road Bridge is alone significant because you can still travel across this beautiful bridge, which is posted at Michigan's minimum weight limit of 3 tons. Even better, this bridge is quite old with an 1888 construction date. The bridge was built by the Massillon Bridge Company. Massillon Bridge company was the second most prolific truss bridge builder in Michigan, with Wrought Iron Bridge Company in first place. This bridge, although it has had modern Armco railings added, retains a great deal of historic integrity.
This bridge is a six panel pin connected through truss bridge. V-lacing is present on the vertical members. Lattice is present on the portal bracing. The deck is wooden, and appears to have been redone in the not-so-distant past. At the west end, two stringer spans provide an approach to the bridge. These stringer spans are also wooden decked. Piers and abutments for this bridge are concrete. This bridge sits right beside a small mill/dam like structure that creates a small waterfall under the bridge.
Information and Findings From Michigan Historic Bridge Inventory
The Stancer Road Bridge is eligible for the National Register as an excellent example of a late nineteenth-century pinned, overhead Pratt truss. This once common bridge type is now becoming rare in Michigan.
The number "88" appears in a center circle of the bridge plates, indicating that the bridge was probably constructed in 1888. The bridge plates also show the builder as the Massillon Bridge Company, which was in operation from 1869 to 1901. This firm was one of the most prolific bridge building companies in Michigan and the Midwest during the nineteenth century, and is known to have built at least nineteen structures in the state. This bridge was probably built under township authority. No archival information could be found regarding its construction. The integrity of the structure has been maintained, and the physical condition is good.
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