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Old US-12 Bridge

Old US-12 Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth and Rick McOmber

Bridge Documented: Spring 2007

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Old US-12 (Old US-112, Chicago Street) Over Coldwater River
Location
Coldwater: Branch County, Michigan: United States
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1920 By Builder/Contractor: Brookville Bridge Company of Brookville, Ohio and Engineer/Design: Michigan State Highway Department

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
64 Feet (19.51 Meters)
Structure Length
67 Feet (20.42 Meters)
Roadway Width
20 Feet (6.1 Meters)
Spans
1 Main Span(s)
NBI Number
124144400210B01

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)

Bridge Documentation

This bridge no longer exists!

Bridge Status: Demolished in Spring 2018.

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

This bridge is technically a relic from US-112, although for the sake of clarity, it is usually considered the Old US-12 Bridge. US-12 was during the time this bridge was built, right through 1933 when the Michigan State Highway Department realigned the highway south of the truss bridge, actually US-112. At that time, US-12 followed the current route of I-94. Remnants of this highway, which passed through cities like Kalamazoo, Battle Creek, Albion, Jackson, and Paw Paw, are commonly named Michigan Avenue today. Only in 1962 when I-94 was completed did US-112 become US-12 and the Michigan Avenue US-12 was decommissioned. Find out more about the highways at this excellent website.

This bridge is unusual because it is a Michigan State Highway Department standard plan structure and bears much similarity to Michigan's standard Parker pony truss plan as seen in bridges like M-86. This is a relatively short bridge, and as such a Parker truss was most likely unnecessary here.

In a county where ancient pin-connected truss bridges like the Gower Road Bridge, plus Stancer Road Bridge, remain open to traffic, finding this 1920s truss bridge with riveted connections closed to traffic might come as a shock. The shock might be amplified by the fact that the M-86 Bridge, one of those similar Parker truss bridges, is open to trunk line traffic with no weight limit at all. The Old US-12 Bridge has severe rust deterioration on the bottom chord, floor beams, and deck stringers. It is likely due to salt damage. The older pin-connected bridges are both on dirt roads, where salt is not applied in the winter, accounting for why a newer and originally stronger bridge is today in worse condition. This bridge underscores the need to explore and utilize alternative forms of de-icing that do not deteriorate bridges, and for that matter cars as well.

Up until 1997, the 1933 bridge that was built just a little bit south of this bridge to carry the realigned US-112 was still standing, displaying two generations of bridge design. Unfortunately, that bridge was demolished in 1997.

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Photo Galleries and Videos: Old US-12 Bridge

 
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For the best visual immersion and full detail, or for use as a desktop background, this gallery presents selected overview and detail photos for this bridge in the original digital camera resolution. This gallery offers photos in the highest available resolution and file size in a touch-friendly popup viewer. Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer
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Structure Overview
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A collection of overview photos that show the bridge as a whole and general areas of the bridge. This gallery features data-friendly, fast-loading photos in a touch-friendly popup viewer. Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer
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Structure Details
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A collection of detail photos that document the parts, construction, and condition of the bridge. This gallery features data-friendly, fast-loading photos in a touch-friendly popup viewer. Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer

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