|Bridge Name||Facility Carried / Feature Intersected||Location||Structure Type||Construction Date and Builder/Engineer|
Masters Road Bridge
||Masters Road Over Belle River||Rural: St. Clair County, Michigan||Metal Stringer (Multi-Beam), Fixed||1935 By Builder/Contractor: J. H. Baker and Sons of Port Huron, Michigan|
|Main Span Length||Structure Length||Roadway Width||Main Spans||NBI Number|
|54.8 Feet (16.7 Meters)||57.7 Feet (17.6 Meters)||20 Feet (6.1 Meters)||1||77200022000B010|
Although not as beautiful as a through truss bridge, this bridge is still a historic bridge, and should be given at least some mention. This bridge is a depression bridge, built in 1935, with the aid of federal relief funds. People into antiques value depression glass, and similarly depression bridges have additional value because they both document a key period in history, and also are a memorial to the hard times that a lot of people suffered through.
This bridge does not have an enormous amount of aesthetic value, beyond the guardrails. The guardrails themselves are quite attractive, which curve onto the bridge at each end. These guardrails have not been maintained and are severely rusted. St. Clair County Road Commission managed to take this problem and make it worse, by only plastering double-wide Armco metal guardrails all over the whole bridge, and doing no work to the historic railings.
Cobblestone abutments are visible behind the current concrete abutments. These supported a pony truss, which the current bridge replaced.
Information and Findings From Michigan Historic Bridge Inventory
Clair County was hit hard by the Depression. The county's road
commission aggressively sought federal relief funds for road and bridge
work to put unemployed laborers back to work and improve the county's
deteriorating road system. The resulting bridges, usually common
structural types, sometimes displayed nonstandard detailing on railings
and wing walls. Many of these structures have been demolished or altered
since that time. The Masters Road Bridge merits National Register
designation as a well-preserved, representative example of bridges
produced by Depression-era relief programs.
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