|Bridge Name||Facility Carried / Feature Intersected||Location||Structure Type||Construction Date and Builder/Engineer|
Bauer Road Bridge
||Bridge Park Trail Over Dickinson Creek||Rural: Calhoun County, Michigan||Metal 6 Panel Pin-Connected Pratt Through Truss, Fixed||1880 By Builder/Contractor: Penn Bridge Company of Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania|
|Main Span Length||Structure Length||Roadway Width||Main Spans||NBI Number|
|89 Feet (27.1 Meters)||89 Feet (27.1 Meters)||16 Feet (4.88 Meters)||1||19315H00011B010|
This bridge has not been painted because it is wrought iron. Wrought iron does not rust like steel does, and thus painting the bridge was not going to offer any noticeable benefit. This bridge is one of the oldest truss bridges in Michigan, with its 1880 construction date. It was built by a significant company, the Penn Bridge Works of Beaver, Pennsylvania. The railing on the bridge is a larger lattice than on the other bridges because of some issues that developed with safety. As an old truss bridge, the bridge is overall a light duty bridge. All members and chords are smaller than what the average pin-connected Pratt through truss from later years consisted of. The height of the truss is quite short also, although the deck width is average, which results in this bridge having a false wide feeling to it. Compare this to the Gale Road Bridge which has the same approximate width but is taller. The bottom chord is highly unusual on this bridge. The eye-bars that form the bottom chord in the middle four panels on the bridge have eye-bars with three eyes. In other words, that one eye-bar spans two panels. Another unusual feature is the end-post/top chord connection (the hip joint) which actually has two pins, one for the vertical and one for the diagonal. This is a design characteristic that appears on most older truss bridges built by the Penn Bridge Company. The way the top chord terminates at the end post is less commonly seen also. In the case of this bridge, there would have been a plaque mounted on the end of the top chord to hide the "guts" of the top chord. This design technique shows up again on older Penn Bridge Company structures, but the Wrought iron Bridge Company was also noted for doing this as well. The Portal bracing is ornate, and in addition to the lattice also features a decorative flower-shaped punch-out on the corners. If you look closely, you can see the serrated edge on this design which shows that the design was punched out of the metal. Another detail to note when you examine the portal up close is that there are little buttons on the middle of the lattice portion of the portal bracing. Sadly, all but a couple are left today. If you look very close, you can make out "PENN" written on them. Again, this was an interesting thing that shows up on older Penn Bridge Company bridges.
During the restoration of this bridge, crews utilized some parts from a Tallman Road Bridge, which was located near to the Bauer Road Bridge in Clinton County. The HAER documentation links above offer details and a photo-documentation of that bridge.
Information and Findings From Michigan Historic Bridge Inventory
The Bauer Road Bridge is one of only two known surviving examples of
through truss spans built in Michigan by the Penn Bridge Works of Beaver
Falls, Pennsylvania, an important eastern bridge company in the
Click on a thumbnail or gallery name below to visit that particular photo gallery. If videos are available, click on a video name to view and/or download that particular video.
||A collection of overview and detail photos. This photo gallery contains a combination of Original / Full Sized photos and Mobile/Smartphone Optimized (Reduced Size) photos. Alternatively, view this photo gallery using a popup slideshow viewer by clicking the link below.
Browse Gallery With Popup Viewer
© Copyright 2003-2013, HistoricBridges.org. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer: HistoricBridges.org is a volunteer group of private citizens. HistoricBridges.org is NOT a government agency, does not represent or work with any governmental agencies, nor is it in any way associated with any government agency or any non-profit organization. While we strive for accuracy in our factual content, HistoricBridges.org offers no guarantee of accuracy. Information is provided "as is" without warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied. Information could include technical inaccuracies or errors of omission. Opinions and commentary are the opinions of the respective HistoricBridges.org member who made them and do not necessarily represent the views of anyone else, including any outside photographers whose images may appear on the page in which the commentary appears. HistoricBridges.org does not bear any responsibility for any consequences resulting from the use of this or any other HistoricBridges.org information. Owners of bridges have the responsibility of correctly following all applicable laws, rules, and regulations, regardless of any HistoricBridges.org information.