This bridge is right at the southern Michigan border. The Welcome to Ohio signage can be easily seen from this bridge. Hillsdale County, which is where this bridge came from, apparently did not care that this was their last truss bridge when they gave it up for relocation to Morenci. Hillsdale County no longer has any historic truss bridges, but Morenci is the proud new owner of this beautifully restored historic truss bridge. The Sterling Road Bridge, now serving sidewalk traffic, now sits next to a 1935 beam bridge on M-156 that has also been renovated and is historic as well.
The Sterling Road Bridge was built in 1897 by the Toledo Bridge Company. The company was known in earlier years as the Smith Bridge Company. MDOT's image shows the bridge with its original plaque mounted on the portal bracing. The current plaque on the bridge is not original. The bridge is a Pratt through truss with pinned connections and five panels. V-lacing is present on the vertical members, and on the sway bracing. The floor beams have an interesting fishbelly shape to them, something usually found on older truss bridges say from the 1880s. Fortunately, these beautiful floor beams were not replaced when the bridge was rehabilitated. Bottom chord eye bars on the bridge are of the up-set variety. Portal bracing is ornate, with a lattice design coupled with an unusual decorative design in the corners. The railings on the bridge are not the original railings, but are an attractive design Michigan created and used on a number of truss bridge preservation projects. The intent is to create a railing that meets safety requirements while also a nod to historical designs. It features a lattice design with a horizontal tube on top.
Information and Findings From Michigan Historic Bridge Inventory
Statement of Significance
This bridge was moved from its original location in Hillsdale County on Sterling Road over the St. Joseph River to Lenawee County. The Sterling Road Bridge is one of the early examples of the Michigan work of the Smith Bridge Company of Toledo, Ohio. It is particularly notable because of the ornamental details on its portal cross bracing.
This bridge is tagged with the following special condition(s): Reused and Unorganized Photos
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