|Norfolk Southern Railroad Bridge||Truss||Railroad (Norfolk Southern)||Monroe County, Michigan||Monroe||River Raisin|
This bridge sits right next to a second, quite different looking, three-span railroad through truss. Together they form a breathtaking pair of river crossings. If only the highway bridge which parallels the railroads were something more interesting. This Norfolk Southern bridge is one of the most beautiful, as well as unusual, railroad bridges I have had the privilege of visiting. It originally was a New York Central line, and was constructed in 1910. I personally feel this is an unusual bridge design for this period. The Monroe CSX Railroad bridge, built only a year later, is more representative of what I would expect from this time. This bridge is certainly one of my favorites. The fact that is is three spans is alone enough to make this bridge interesting. Carrying a single track, coupled with its extensive bracing, it is one of those railroad bridges that has that awesome tall and narrow feeling when you stand before its portal. Add in the three spans, and you also get a good tunnel effect as you cross this bridge. The bridge's technical configuration adds to its interest also... it has pinned connections. Pin connected through truss railroad bridges are less common. They usually have riveted connections. The truss configuration is unusual also. It is a Baltimore configuration, and as a result, when view from the side, has an unusual, pleasingly complex appearance to it. Old telegraph poles run along the top of this bridge, and were riveted to the bridge. Extensive v-lacing and lattice is present on this bridge, which adds greatly to the bridge's complexity, and thus, its aesthetic value. Complexity is what makes truss bridges so interesting... where a slab of concrete or steel suffices today, these ornate and intricate geometric works of engineering and art do the job instead. This bridge is a perfect example of that. Luckily, it is a railroad bridge, and is even still in use, and so will most likely not be going anywhere soon. The bridge could tolerate a coat of paint, however. It would be neat to paint this bridge something other than the standard railroad black. A pleasant silverish grey, or even a green or blue would look awesome on this bridge. The railroad companies' bad taste in bridge paint color is some of what I feel has lead some people to see railroad bridges as ugly rather than beautiful. The bridges themselves are, in my opinion very attractive!