The HistoricBridges.org Team:
Nathan Holth - Author, Webmaster, and Photographer.
Rick McOmber - Photographer and Content Advisor.
Luke Gordon - Engineering / Construction Consultant and Photographer.
professional photo-documentation, information, and advocacy for
all types of historic bridges except covered bridges. North
American coverage radiates outward from Michigan, with
Pennsylvania, Chicago, and Ontario being coverage highlights as
well. HistoricBridges.org places an unparalleled priority on comprehensive and detail-oriented photo-documentation of each bridge presented. In addition, HistoricBridges.org strongly advocates for the reform of surface
transportation policy and fights to increase awareness of the
feasibility of historic bridge preservation. HistoricBridges.org is guided by the philosophy that placing a greater funding focus on the maintenance, repair, and rehabilitation of existing bridges, whether historic or not, is the
the best solution for a country's aging and deteriorating bridges.
Click Here For The Latest Website Update (11-13-13).
November is Historic Bridge Awareness Month! To celebrate, enjoy a preview version of a new website feature, the Dr. James L. Cooper Historic Indiana Bridges Database!
|Featuring historic bridge photo-documentation and information, the Bridge Browser is the main feature on this website. The map shown here is an interactive clickable map that allows you to access the bridges on this website. Places listed in blue text have bridges available. BridgeSeek, an advanced search tool, is also available. Also, a standalone version of the Bridge Browser is available.|
Bridge Spotlight:Approximate Time Remaining Until All United States Historic Metal Truss Bridges Not Preserved Are Demolished:
Port Huron Pere Marquette Railroad Bridge
Located in Port Huron, Michigan, this 1931 through truss bascule bridge is one of only three bascule bridges in Michigan using a design patented in 1921 by Hugo Abt for the American Bridge Company. Including this bridge, only six examples of this type are known to remain nationwide today, making the design exceedingly rare. Additionally, the Port Huron bridge appears to have the longest span of this type.
The Abt bascule bridge has two unusual features: its counterweight that moves opposite to the direction of the span as it is lowered or raised and the motor that drives the bridge while riding up and down on an inclined track. It is historically and technologically significant as a rare example of an unusual patented bridge design. Locally, the bridge is a recognizable landmark and a remnant of a railroad line that once ran north and south from the bridge.
Nobody appears to have sought to list the bridge in the National Register of Historic Places, but, it appears to be eligible for listing for its engineering significance.
Today abandoned in its original position, the bridge is owned by the Port Huron Yacht Club who recently purchased the land and the bridge. The Yacht Club is seeking to demolish this historic bridge. The Yacht Club has not outlined plans for using the land around the bridge, nor indicated if the bridge is in the way of anything. They have claimed the bridge is a liability. Concerns with liability could be addressed with an improved fence and "No Trespassing" signs. Demolishing the bridge is shortsighted and deprives Port Huron of an important historic landmark.
|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.|
|This feature contains articles relating
to historic bridges, as well as information about entire categories
of historic bridges. This section also includes some non-bridge
related photos. Some of the major features include:
- An all-in-one collection of some of the best bridge photos available in wallpaper size.
- A look at historic metal water towers, which share a lot of design characteristics with truss bridges.
- A collection of interesting photos of the natural world.
- 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.|
|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.|
|Your help is needed! Help an important piece of historic bridge legislation revised and passed in 2007 to increase historic bridge preservation: A guide to write letters to U.S. government officials and legislators. These proposed changes did not pass in 2006 because the government felt that not enough citizens had spoken up in favor of historic bridges. Help change that!|
|Presented through the convenient format of Twitter, the Historic Bridge Newsroom is a simple collection of links to current news articles about historic bridges, as well as word-of-mouth news snippets. Coverage includes any historic bridges in the United States and Canada, which may or may not be in the Bridge Browser. This is a human-edited list of links; therefore coverage may be biased to the areas that those team members who maintain it are familiar with.|
|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.|
News and Updates
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.!
5th Annual Historic Bridge Weekend
The 5th Annual Historic Bridge Weekend will be held in Iowa and organized by The BridgeHunter's Chronicles this year from August 9th through the 11th.
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? The following states maintain a list of bridges which you can acquire, relocate and restore. 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. Note: these bridges will be demolished if nobody acquires them.
Nationwide Listings On BridgeHunter.com
Support Historic Bridges With A Donation To These Foundations: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 these Foundations:
Iron and Steel Historic Preservation Program Fund
Part of the Lansing Community College Foundation and managed by Vern Mesler, this fund provides for the development and training related to groundbreaking restoration techniques that are allowing historic metal bridges to be restored with a greater attention paid to historic integrity for less cost the older methods that greatly reduced the historic integrity of historic bridges.
A brochure about the fund is available here.
More information about the workshops and conferences funded by the fund are available here.
Donate Online Here - Please select "Specific Fund" under Program Designation and type in "Iron and Steel" under the Additional Info section.
Download Offline Form In PDF Format (Type Out Form, Print, and Mail)
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.
November 13, 2013 - Minnesota, Wisconsin, Northern Illinois: Large Update
This large website update introduces coverage of Minnesota to HistoricBridges.org. The most significant historic bridges of the Twin Cities, and several other highly significant bridges in southeastern Minnesota are now a part of HistoricBridges.org. This update also adds a few bridges in Wisconsin and northern Illinois.
November 2013 - Historic Bridge Awareness Month
To celebrate Historic Bridge Awareness Month, HistoricBridges.org is releasing a preview version of Dr. Jim Cooper's Indiana Historic Bridges database. Dr. Cooper is the leading authority on Indiana's historic bridges. This database contains photos and information for nearly every historic bridge in Indiana, including many that are gone today but were around in the 1980s. This preview version only has photos for bridges in a few counties, but narratives are available for all bridges that have them.
August 23, 2013 - Historic Bridges of McGilvray Road
McGilvray Road, also called Seven Bridges Road, is a road that was abandoned to traffic decades ago with the demolition of its 7th and largest bridge over the main channel of the Black River. Today however, six bridges including five unique patented bowstring truss bridges crossing the Black River Bottoms are preserved as part of a trail that follows the old road.
This update adds McGilvray Road's Bridges to the website.
July 12, 2013 - Toronto Update Plus a Couple Chicagoland Bridges
This completes a 30 bridge update to introduce the majority of heritage bridges in Toronto, Ontario. A future winter visit to Toronto with the leaves off the trees will be needed to complete Toronto coverage.
This update also adds a few bridges for Chicagoland.
July 5, 2013 - California Update Part 2 and Toronto Kickoff
This is the final in a series of updates that has expanded HistoricBridges.org to cover a portion of California. Three bridges in Toronto, Ontario are also included in this update, the beginning of a smaller update to add 30 bridges from Toronto to the website.
June 19, 2013 - California Update Part 1
The second in a series of updates that will expand HistoricBridges.org to cover a portion of California, this update adds at least one bridge to all the California counties visited by HistoricBridges.org to date. Additional bridges will be added to the counties in the next updates.
April 25, 2013 - Golden Gate and Oakland Bay Bridge Updates
The first in a series of updates that will expand HistoricBridges.org to cover a portion of California, this update adds HistoricBridges.org photo-documentation to pre-existing pages for the Golden Gate Bridge and the San Francisco Oakland Bay Bridge. Prior to this update, the only photos available were a Public Photograph Compilation. The new photo galleries now include full photo-documentation in the traditional HistoricBridges.org format, as well as high resolution video, and GoPro camera still photos showing the experience of driving over the bridges. Tweaks to the narratives were also made, and historical photos and articles were added.
February 15, 2013 - Large Update: Indiana and Beyond
This update adds a bunch of bridges including adding 27 new counties to the website. Most of the bridges and new counties are in Indiana, but a number are for other states as well.
February 12, 2013 - Michigan, Indiana and New York
This update adds and updates 45 bridges for Michigan, Indiana, and New York.
January 23, 2013 - Chicagoland
This update adds bridges for the Chicagoland area. It also adds photos and updates a few existing bridge pages elsewhere.
January 4, 2013 - Ontario, Pennsylvania, New York and Ohio
This large update adds bridges in Ontario, Pennsylvania, New York and Ohio.