HistoricBridges.org offers professional detail-oriented photo-documentation, information, and preservation advocacy for all types of historic bridges except covered bridges. HistoricBridges.org is authored by Nathan Holth. Click Here For The Latest Website Update (6-17-22). Follow our Facebook Page to get notified of website updates.
Featuring photo-documentation and narratives, the Bridge Browser offers photo-documentation and narrative discussion for thousands of selected historic bridges. Although selected bridges from around the world are listed, the Bridge Browser focuses on North America. Places listed in blue on the interactive map below have bridges available. The BridgeSeek custom search tool is also available, or use the Bridge Locator app to find bridges near you. View newly added bridge pages. There are currently 7597 bridges available in the Bridge Browser.
Random Bridge (Tap To Load Another)
Thornapple River Railroad Bridge: Rural (Near Cascade): Kent County, Michigan: An impressive three span deck truss.
Alabama Arizona Arkansas California Colorado Connecticut Delaware District of Columbia Florida Georgia Idaho Illinois Indiana Iowa Kansas Kentucky Louisiana Maine Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota Mississippi Missouri Montana New Hampshire New Jersey New Mexico New York North Carolina Ohio Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Carolina Tennessee Texas Utah Vermont Virginia Washington West Virginia Wisconsin
Alberta British Columbia Ontario Québec Saskatchewan
Worldwide Countries and Regions
Brazil (Brasil) China (中国) Europe and the United Kingdom Japan (日本) Pakistan (پاکِستان) Southeast Asia
Additional Website Features
Informative presentations designed to introduce viewers to the world of historic bridges. Utilizing photos and diagrams, the various terminology, construction, and configuration of historic bridges is discussed. A presentation on inspecting historic bridges is also available. This page also features some formal, yet easy-to-read, essays that further explore the historic bridge world.
An archive of presentations given by
HistoricBridges.org, plus numerous articles relating to historic bridges. This section also includes some non-bridge related photos. Some of the
major features include:
- Downloadable presentations previously given by HistoricBridges.org.
- A discussion of Michigan's ornamental "Type R4" bridge railing.
- An in-depth look at curved chord through girder bridges.
A comprehensive visitor's guide to this unique park located in Calhoun County, Michigan whose focus is the restored metal truss bridges within the park. Contains maps, photos, and links to bridge browser pages for the historic bridges within the park.
This is a one-stop photographic catalog of the names of steel mills found on bridges in the United States and around the world. The wording and design of these mill marks/brands changed over the years and in some cases can assist in dating the iron/steel materials on a bridge.
The Prints Store is where you can purchase quality prints of selected photos from HistoricBridges.org taken by Nathan Holth. Photos are organized into folders by state/province. Don't see the bridge and/or photo you would like a print of? Contact us and let us know what photo you would like and we will upload it to the store so you can purchase your prints.
HistoricBridges.org maintains a Facebook page. The Facebook page is a convenient way to be notified of major updates to the website and other important news relating to the website and historic bridges.
Features a collection of external links to other bridge websites on the Internet. Many other bridge enthusiast websites feature bridges from areas not covered by this website, and links to those websites can be found here.
The Historic Bridge Locator App, newly launched in 2022, is an app that will instantly locate all bridges on the HistoricBridges.org Bridge Browser, that are (or were) near your current location. As a web-based app it does require a working Internet connection, however the web-based design means it should be compatible with almost any smartphone. A new feature, the app currently only displays ALL bridges (both extant and demolished) within 2, 20, or 50 kilometers of your location depending on your selection. An experimental test feature is also being built to search all bridges listed on the BridgeHunter.com website less than 10 kilometers away. When viewing results for HistoricBridges.org, you may also map the results to Google Maps and OpenStreets. For the BridgeHunter results, an OpenStreets map is available (Google is not included on the BridgeHunter results, to conserve bandwidth, as Google is a paid service after a certain level of traffic). In the future, options to toggle demolished bridges may be implemented. Note: If you are on Android using Chrome, you can open the app and use the Chrome menu item "Add to Home screen" to create a shortcut on your phone just like a full App Store app.
June 17, 2022 - Large Detroit, Michigan Update Plus Misc.
This update is a notable update in the history of HistoricBridges.org. When the website first began in 2003 under the name "Historic Bridges of Michigan and Elsewhere" there was no nationwide BridgeHunter.com (it mainly covered Missouri and a few other nearby states), the National Bridge Inventory was not accessible, and historic bridge inventories had not been tracked down yet. In Michigan, the first additions to the website all focused on a page on MDOT's website listing historic bridges. It was a list of National Register eligible/listed bridges as found by the state's 1995 Historic Bridge Inventory. This webpage guided the expansion of website coverage in Michigan until a copy of the 1995 Historic Bridge Inventory (which also listed ineligible bridges) was tracked down. This website update includes the addition of the last two (extant) bridges on MDOT's Historic Bridge Webpage that were NOT previously listed on HistoricBridges.org. These are two expressway-related structures in the Detroit area, the Lodge Interchange (with the Holden Avenue Walkover listed separately) and the Michigan Avenue overpass on I-94.
After nearly 20 years of bridge photography in Michigan, the timing of this update turned out to be impeccible. It turns out the entire Lodge Interchange is about to be completely demolished and replaced, as part of an ongoing Rebuild I-94 project. Also, the MDOT website was redesigned recently and the referenced historic bridge page seems to have been deleted from the website. It can still be viewed on the Internet Archive Wayback Machine.
Also included in this Detroit update is an addition of other bridges of historic note. In particular, railroad overpass bridges with notable architectural details were selected for documentation and addtion to the website. Many of these have handsome Art Deco details. Some other misc. unusual bridges in Detroit were also documented. Fresh photos for the nationally significant Melan arch in Detroit have been added. The difficult-to-photograph Zug Island Road Bridge has been added. The Woodward/8 Mile intersection bridges have been added, as these were found to be historic by MDOT in a later Historic Bridge Inventory update. In conclusion, this update brings this website's coverage of Detroit more in-line with the broad, extensive coverage found elsewhere on this website in Michigan.
This update package also updates the menus and clickable maps with newly added counties in Wisconsin, Virginia, and New Hampshire. Recent updates outside Michigan recent updates have been third party photographers including Marc Scotti in New York and Virginia, Mark Boetcher (including his amazing Drone photos!) for Wisconsin, and Bob Dover sent photos for the Milford Suspension Bridge in New Hampshire, filling in an annoying hole of coverage for a very highly significant historic bridge.
Lastly, Caleb Barker sent improved photos and new angles for two bridges in Ontario: Deli Railway Bridge and North Maitland River Private Bridge now has a full photo-documentation. More content from Caleb will be added soon as well.
April 22, 2022 - Continuing Bridge Browser Additions
This update package updates the menus and clickable maps with newly added counties in Texas, New York, and Florida. Most recent updates have been third party photographers including Marc Scotti in New York and Florida and Jesse Berube who is helping get the top bridge for the Dallas-Fort Worth area on the website, a major metro area that was not included in the big 2019 HistoricBridges.org Texas documentation effort. Photos have been added for three existing Canadian bridge pages too: Holt Line Bridge, Pretty Road Bridge. Check back in on the below updates link for a few new additions to existing bridges and a few all-new bridge pages for Ontario scheduled to be added in the next week or two, the results of the first post-pandemic HistoricBridges.org visit to Canada, a short day trip to add some surprisingly large (for the region) high level railroad bridges in the Tilsonburg area.
On a side note, HistoricBridges.org is attempting to modernize (bigger, higher resolution) thumbnails in BridgeSeek/Bridge Browser results, and also for the Photo Gallery selection area on individual bridge pages. This may have resulted in some thumbnails not displaying, due to some bad file naming practices from the early years of this website. Feel free to report any bugs you find.
April 15, 2022 - Additional Major Features: Web-Based App and National Bridge Inventory
A lot has been going on this week in terms of expanding features on HistoricBridges.org. A summary of everything new is included below (replacing/repeating some info previously announced on April 7).
Historic Bridge Locator App: A Web-Based App To Find Bridges Near Your Location!
The Historic Bridge Locator App is intended to replace the attempt a while back with the Historic Bridge Foundation to create a native iPhone/Android app that didn't work out well due to the cost of keeping the app updated and compatible with all phone. This app will locate all bridges on the HistoricBridges.org Bridge Browser that are (or were) near your current location. As a web-based app it does require a working Internet connection, however the web-based design means it should be compatible with almost any smartphone.
The app also features the ability to search for bridges listed on BridgeHunter.com, the BridgeReports.com website (which displays multiple years of NBI data up to 2019), and LandmarkHunter.com. When viewing results for HistoricBridges.org, you may also map the results to Google Maps and OpenStreets. For the BridgeHunter and LandmarkHunter results, an OpenStreets search is available (Google is not included on the BridgeHunter results, to conserve bandwidth, as Google is a paid service after a certain level of traffic).
Note: If you are on Android using Chrome browser you can open the app and use the Chrome menu item "Add to Home screen" to create a shortcut on your phone just like a full App Store app. In Dolphin browser app, you can add the app as a bookmark, and then tap and hold on the bookmark to find the "Add Shortcut To Home" button.
Known Issues: This app uses HTML5 geolocation code, and as currently configured, it uses basic location information. As such, you may notice that your GPS is not always (or ever) triggered or running, unlike when you run a navigation app. To date, attempts to require the app to attempt to use precise (GPS Sensor) location have not worked. In testing, the app appears to be fairly accurate nevertheless. One issue noted is with Google Chrome sometimes the app does not update the user's location every time you hit the search button. It might only update the location every 10 minutes or so. If this issue occurs while driving and searching, it can be a problem. In this case, try a different browser. On Android, Dolphin Browser seems to work particularly well. The other known issue is that the distance shown that indicates your approximate distance to each bridge will not be totally accurate. The tutorials on the Internet said that the formula used in the app to calculate distance is a simpler, but less accurate method that does not account for issues like the round shape of the earth. In testing, the distances were found to be useful for a rough idea of distance, but not exact. Attempts to use the more accurate formulas (which are much more complex) led to other problems, so for now the simple calculations are being used. In testing, it still is highly accurate in showing bridges closest to the user, listed in order from closest to your location to furthest away, which is ultimately the intended purpose of the app.
National Bridge Inventory Tools For HistoricBridges.org and BridgeHunter.com
A new tool to search the 2021 copy of the National Bridge Inventory has been added to the Historic Bridge Encyclopedia's Inventories section. While the tool seems to work well overall, be aware that it comes with all the notorious bugs and errors in the original FHWA data. The inventory offers a search tool similar to BridgeSeek. Also, in the Maps and Links section of bridges in the Bridge Browser, a new link allows you to query the inventory for nearby bridges, allowing you to check current NBI data for a bridge listed in the Bridge Browser (as the PDF NBI Sheets offered for download on the Bridge Browser are archival/static and not updated).
In addition, links have been added on the bridge pages on BridgeHunter.com (in the list of map links) to query this inventory from BridgeHunter.com (which to date has been unable to import new NBI data after founder James Baughn passed away, leaving the website with 2019 data). Results are listed in order with the closest to the coordinates on BridgeHunter.com being shown first, within a short distance (0.8 kilometers actually). This should help people on BridgeHunter.com check on the current status of bridges listed on that website.
New searches to query this database have also been added to the Historic Bridge Locator App as well, so if you are traveling and see a bridge not listed on BridgeHunter.com or the Bridge Browser, you can look up its basic information in the National Bridge Inventory quickly.
HistoricBridges.org Bridge Browser Linkage on BridgeHunter.com
The code written to make the Historic Bridge Locator App search by distance from a given location allowed for another link on the bridge pages on BridgeHunter.com (in the list of map links) which allows someone viewing a bridge on BridgeHunter.com to check for any nearby bridges listed on HistoricBridges.org. This pairs perfectly with the link tool James created on BridgeHunter.com some years ago, which allows for people viewing a bridge on the Bridge Browser to click a link in the Maps and Links section to check for nearby bridges listed on BridgeHunter.com. Results are listed in order with the closest to the coordinates on BridgeHunter.com being shown first, within a short distance (0.8 kilometers actually).
In short, it is now possible to quickly switch between BridgeHunter.com and HistoricBridges.org pages for a bridge, even if nobody has added an external link manually on either website.
Misc. Interface Improvements On HistoricBridges.org
A few changes have been made to the interface on HistoricBridges.org. In the Bridge Browser county-by-county listings, as well as BridgeSeek results, the thumbnail photos now use the "main photo" file for the bridge, which means the thumbnails are slightly larger and much higher resolution on Desktop computers, and much larger (filling in unused white space) and higher resolution on smartphones. The original thumbnail was chosen back when the website was started in 2003 and many people still had dial-up. Today, in the era of high speed internet and unlimited data, testing showed that the pages still load very quickly using these larger image files, with vast improvement in visual quality. In case anyone was wondering, updating the actual photo gallery thumbnails with the larger images may prove a challenge (plus larger thumbnails would make for a lot of scrolling on smartphones given the large size of BridgeBrowser galleries), so for now those will remain as the smaller thumbnails.
In line with the above improvements, the random bridge on this homepage has a larger thumbnail too. The text that goes with the random bridge has been reorganized so it doesn't use depreciated HTML table code that is not mobile-optimized.
The James L. Cooper Indiana Historic Bridge Database search page has been updated so it matches the design of BridgeSeek and the National Bridge Inventory search.
February 11, 2022 - First Marc Scotti Update
This update package adds Hardee County, Florida, Warren County, New York, Potter County, Pennsylvania, Jefferson County, West Virginia to the website, plus bridges have been added to many existing counties, mostly in New York State. This update features photos by Marc Scotti who has for many years had an ever-growing collection of bridge photos that we normally have not found time to add. As such the updates feature photos ranging from 10 years old to more recent photos. Some very high significance bridges not well covered elsewhere on the Internet are included in this update.
January 21, 2022 - Enormous "Backlog Cleanup" Update
For those unaware, this website is maintained largely by a single person, with two regular photo contributors, plus on a limited basis this website has accepted photos from outside contributors as well, some of whom have shared wonderful, and fairly large collections of photos. This is a lot for one person to maintain! Over the years a massive backlog of photos developed and never went away. As of 2021, this backlog was so old that a few of the photos went back to 2010! The completion of this update marks the first time in over a decade when every single photo taken by Nathan Holth has been added to the website. Most of Rick McOmber's photos should now be online as well. In addition, most of the photos sent from outside contributors have now been added, and some of those went back nearly 10 years as well!
This has been accomplished largely by skipping the detailed organization of photo galleries (labeled "Unorganized") and also some previous refinements made to the page creation process over the past few years helped as well. Some small photo galleries and outside contributor galleries will likely remain unorganized indefinitely, but for some of the larger unorganized galleries, it is hoped to eventually convert them to the standard organized galleries. In the meantime the purpose of this was to make sure as many photos as possible are available to the public in some form, rather than stuffed onto a hard drive where nobody can see them.
Due to the nature of this "cleanup" update, bridges were added across North America. What remains to be done? Marc Scotti has a ton of photos mostly for New York State that we intend to add. Also Caleb Barker has submitted many photos for Ontario which we intend to add. Lastly, HistoricBridges.org will continue to visit historic bridges, with plans to fill in coverage in eastern USA cities such as Philadelphia, Baltimore, Wilmington, and New York City in 2022. So the website will continue to be active!
Historical Engineering News-Record articles have been added for selected bridges. This is an ongoing project as we go through the scanned issues, and more are planned. Since these updates do not track in the "Latest Additions" page we are maintaining a Dropbox folder of all the articles found, sorted into folders by the date added to the website. View the Dropbox.
John Marvig continues to assist with adding and fixing construction dates, builders, and histories for railroad bridges.
Historic Bridge Inventory sheets have been added for selected California bridges.
Refinements to the BridgeSeek database that powers the website include:
Adding a new bridge material, Metal Concrete Encased, and catagorizing all concrete encased bridges accordingly.
Bedstead truss bridges now are categorized as "Through, Pony, or Deck." Interestingly the reason the website originally did not class this truss into those divisions is because at the time we did not know any bedstead through or deck trusses existed!
Continuous and Cantilever trusses that are not variable depth are noted as (Straight Chords) to identify this uncommon form.
Plate girder bridges that are variable depth are noted as (Variable Depth) to identify this more complex plate girder form.
All truss bridges with a Whipple configuration are noted as (Double-Intersection) as both terms are common, and it also helps distinguish them from bridges designed by Squire Whipple, notably his patented cast iron bowstring bridges which are sometimes referrred to as "Whipple" bridges.
December 24, 2021 - Completion of Project To Eliminate Photo Additions Backlog
Work to add the very old backlog of photos to be added to existing pages has completed! Some photos dated back to 2010 and never got added as adding new bridges to the Bridge Browser always took priority over expanding existing pages. The use of "Unorganized Galleries" allowed us to release a massive number of photos in an extremely short period of time.
Also as part of this update additional photos from contributors Caleb Barker, Jason Holloway, and Paul Plassman have also been added to existing pages.
This final update package updates well over 100 more pages with additional photos. Some of these updates were very minor in nature, with just a few photos added.
Lastly, brand new photos have been added to the very old Bridge Browser pages for Portland, Michigan including the Bridge Street Bridge lit in Christmas colors.
November 26, 2021 - Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa Update Completed
All bridges and photos from this October 2021 trip have now been added to the website.
October 29, 2021 - Website Milestone, Midwest Update, and Pennsylvania Turnpike
HistoricBridges.org is proud to now feature over 7,000 bridges on the Bridge Browser! The first group of bridges from an Illinois, Iowa, and Wisconsin trip have been added to the website. More remain to be added. Meanwhile, a bunch of drive-by photos of over 40 bridges for the Pennsylvania Turnpike are added. Although these bridges are not highly significant, and these are not the typical full photo-documentations that HistoricBridges.org is known for, the decision was made to add these bridges due to the rate at which these bridges are being demolished and replaced. The original section of the Pennsylvania Turnpike is itself historically significant and even the newer sections were constructed with the same classical concrete rigid-frames and riveted plate girders, designs not found on modern expressways. This update package also previews a plan to document some of the historically significant parkway bridges of the New York City area. Currently, HistoricBridges.org has only photographed the Palisades Parkway in the New York City region (this will be added in a week or two), however the hope is to photo more parkways on future visits to that area.
October 8, 2021 - Pittsburgh and Cleveland Updates
A unique riverboat tour on the Monongahela River resulted in the addition of two large otherweise inaccessible railroad bridges, plus additional photos for existing bridges from the unique angle of a boat. Also, several bridges in Cleveland have been redocumented and had videos added.
See also our Facebook page for existing bridge pages that had additional photos added:
September 30, 2021 - Ongoing North American Updates
This summer, most updates have been focused on adding bridges from a couple trips to fill in coverage for states with existing coverage... states such as Illinois, Indiana, Pennsylvania, and Missouri. This update completes additions from an Illinois/Missouri/Indiana trip as well as a Pennsylvania trip completed this year. Misc. additions in North America have also been added as well as some outstanding additions to northern Ontario thanks to contributions from Canadian visitors.
See also our Facebook page for existing bridge pages that had additional photos added.
August 5, 2021 - Ongoing North American Updates
This summer, most updates have been focused on adding bridges from a couple trips to fill in coverage for states with existing coverage... states such as Illinois, Indiana, Pennsylvania, and Missouri. Many of these additions include high significance bridges that were for whatever reason not documented in previous bridge trips. In addition, we continue to post wonderful photos from contributors in Ontario, so many additions for Canada continue to be added to the website.
In addition new photo galleries have been added to existing bridge pages:
April 8, 2021 - Alabama
This update releases all results of a recent Alabama documentation project to visit many of the top historic bridges in the state.
February 13, 2021 - Continuing Misc. Additions
Cleanup of the backlog of bridges continues. All remaining bridges from past overseas trips have been added. Meanwhile, in the USA, a number of bridges for Florida have been added as well as a few other states.
January 13, 2021 - Continuing Misc. Additions Including Vietnam and Thailand
We continue to add a variety of bridges from many locations to the website. Bridges in Vietnam and Thailand have been added.
January 13, 2021 - Continuing Misc. Additions Including Japan
We continue to add a variety of bridges from many locations to the website. Recent updates include some bridges in Tokyo, Japan (excluding some of the top bridges which were enclosed for painting during this 2018 trip). Also added are all the historic bridges in Tampa, Florida. Lastly, some misc. bridges in Ontario, Canada have been added. See also added photos for the demolished Portage Viaduct in New York State.
October 30, 2020 - Appalachian Mountains Highlights
This update package was the result of a trip designed to document high significance bridges in this mountainous region where the quantity of historic bridges is relatively low. Coverage stretches over several states.
October 30, 2020 - Continuation of North America Coverage Expansion
Weekly additions to the website continue, so please check back often to see the latest bridges added to the website. The most recent updates focus on bridges from a variety of states, particularly Indiana and Pennsylvania.
October 10, 2020 - Completion of Texas Update Package
Weekly additions to the website continue, so please check back often to see the latest bridges added to the website. The most recent updates focus on bridges from a variety of states and Ontario, including far northern Ontario.
September 29, 2020 - Completion of Texas Update Package
Weekly additions to the website continue, so please check back often to see the latest bridges added to the website. The most recent updates complete the Texas update package from the 2019 trip. There are now 185 bridges for Texas.
August 24, 2020 - Completion of Louisiana Update Package
Weekly additions to the website continue, so please check back often to see the latest bridges added to the website. The most recent updates complete the Louisiana update package from the 2019 trip.
August 14, 2020 - Continuation of North America Coverage Expansion
Weekly additions to the website continue, so please check back often to see the latest bridges added to the website. The most recent updates have been primarily focused on Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, West Virginia, and Ontario.
August 3, 2020 - Continuation of North America Coverage Expansion
Weekly additions to the website continue, so please check back often to see the latest bridges added to the website. The most recent updates have been primarily focused on Louisiana.
July 25, 2020 - Continuation of North America Coverage Expansion
Weekly additions to the website continue, so please check back often to see the latest bridges added to the website. The most recent updates have been primarily focused on Texas and West Virginia.
Chicago's Bridges Book Now Available!
By Nathan Holth, author of HistoricBridges.org, this book provides a discussion of the history of Chicago's movable bridges, and includes a virtual tour discussing all movable bridges remaining in Chicago today. The book includes dozens of full color photos.
Only $9.95 U.S.!
Looking For A Pedestrian or Light Vehicular Bridge?Whether you are a park, trail organization, college, city, or private landowner, you want your property to be something unique and special. Why settle for a boring, dull pre-fabricated pedestrian bridge when you can get a beautiful historic bridge to do the same thing? Many states maintain a list of bridges which you can acquire, relocate and restore, and other individually listed opportunities often are available. These bridges normally can be acquired free of charge, so use the money you were going to put toward buying a pre-fab bridge and instead use it to restore the bridge. Not sure how to restore a bridge? HistoricBridges.org can help guide you to people and firms that can help, or you can just get in touch with Bach Steel. Note: these bridges will be demolished if nobody acquires them.
View Currently Available Bridges List, Maintained By Historic Bridge Foundation
Support Historic Bridges With A Donation To The Historic Bridge Foundation:We do not seek donations for the operation of HistoricBridges.org, nor do we feature advertisements in our content. However if you are interested in helping the cause of historic bridges by financial means, we strongly suggest a tax-deductible donation to the Historic Bridge Foundation:
Historic Bridge Foundation
The Historic Bridge Foundation works to encourage government agencies and officials to preserve historic bridges, the Foundation provides consultation and guidance to individuals and groups seeking to preserve historic bridges. The expertise available at the Foundation is evidenced by the fact that HistoricBridges.org frequently refers people to the Foundation for further assistance beyond what HistoricBridges.org itself provides.
If you have any questions about why a donation to the Historic Bridge Foundation is worthwhile, feel free to contact HistoricBridges.org. Alternatively, learn more about the Historic Bridge Foundation at their website www.historicbridgefoundation.com.