|Smiths Crossing Bridge||Truss||Smiths Crossing Road (Bailey Bridge Road)||Midland County, MI||Rural (Mapleton)||Tittabawassee River|
Midland County has this, and the newer Currie Parkway Bridge which are both examples of Joliet Bridge Co. Work. No plaque survives to list Joliet Bridge Company, but the unusual, yet beautiful, portal bracing decorations are exactly like that on the Dehmel Road Bridge, which archival data has associated the Joliet Bridge Company with. As long as the Joliet Bridge Company is in the area of discussion, it should be noted that the State Street Bridge is also a Joliet bridge. Both the State Street Bridge and this Smiths Crossing Bridge are rare examples of multi-span highway truss bridges in Michigan.
Smiths Crossing Road is known as Bailey Bridge Road north of the bridge. Makes one wonder if this bridge was sometimes also known as Bailey Bridge.
This bridge is a beautiful two-span pin connected Pratt through truss. V-lacing is present on the sway bracing, under the top chord and on vertical members. Each span is nine panels in length. The deck is currently a thin asphalt layer. Lattice railings are still on the bridge, although sections are missing or falling off the bridge. Modern Armco guardrails had also been added below the lattice. Eyebars on the bridge are the punched type. The bridge sits on concrete abutments and piers. The bridge has rusted, but is still easily in the ballpark for restoration.
Midland County Road Commission really went to town with barricading the bridge off. This angered me greatly, because it hindered my portal view photos. Besides, it didn't keep me off the bridge, and judging from the amount of broken glass on the bridge was not keeping other people off either. The county should instead restore this beautiful bridge for pedestrian or vehicular traffic where it stands. As a multi-span bridge it is among the longest truss bridges in Michigan.