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Thornapple River Private Bridge

   
                  


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Bridge Documented: July 2010
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Key Facts
Bridge Name Facility Carried / Feature Intersected Location Structure Type Construction Date and Builder/Engineer
Thornapple River Private Bridge
Private Access Over Thornapple River Rural: Barry County, Michigan Metal 5 Panel Rivet-Connected Pratt Half-Hip Pony Truss, Fixed By Builder/Contractor: Unknown
Technical Facts
Main Spans
1

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

This bridge is on privately owned vacant land that was up for auction at the time HistoricBridges.org documented the bridge. The auction allowed for public access to the bridge. This bridge is locally significant as one of only two known remaining truss bridges in Barry County. The bridge connects a section of open land to a heavily wooded and undeveloped section of land. There is no real trail or path of any kind on the wooded side. It is likely this bridge was moved here by a private owner. The bridge may have been originally been on a public road.

This bridge is a five panel half-hip Pratt pony truss with riveted connections that likely dates to between 1900 and 1915. The bridge is traditionally composed except for the railings which have a v-lacing pattern rather than a more typical lattice pattern. The bridge has paint on it, although it appears to have been applied only after significant pack rust had developed on the top chord cover plate. Otherwise however the majority of the truss appears to be in good condition. There are do not appear to be any major alterations to the truss structure. The deck is a traditional wooden deck with running boards. The deck wood is largely in place and complete, but appears to be slowly rotting, with plants starting to grow in it.

The bridge sits on a simple wooden crib structure. This structure has been washed out quite a bit by water and the wood is rotting. It is an unstable substructure and it could eventually compromise the good condition of the truss. Reconstruction of the substructure is suggested for the owner of the bridge. The other primary area of concern is that the bridge has sat in this position untended long enough that small trees have grown into truss members in a couple locations. Removal of these trees would be recommended for any owner of this bridge.

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Photos and Videos: Thornapple River Private Bridge

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