|Wallace Road Bridge||Truss||Wallace Road||Washtenaw County, MI||Rural (River Raisin)||River Raisin|
One of my hopes with this website is not only to document historic bridges - it is also to try to get people to see that the way our government deals with out road system and the heritage that is often a part of it is corrupt and wasteful. The Wallace Road Bridge is a clear demonstration of this. A discussion follows.
Before you go writing a letter congratulating Washtenaw County Road Commission on their preservation of the Maple Road Bridge, think again. That bridge was only saved because private citizens brought them the money to save the bridge despite the fact that a restoration of that bridge cost less than its replacement. They were basically bought off with money. Their methods of dealing with the Wallace Road Bridge and the Wilbur Road Bridge, located in rural areas away from enough people to raise a fuss, show their true nature. Not only will they demolish and replace the Wilbur Road Bridge (unless Calhoun County Bridge Park comes to the rescue), the last of its kind in the state... they will also obliterate this bridge for no reason other than to wipe it off the face of the earth. That's right, they are not building a new bridge in its place. This is an atrocity. The bridge is not in the way of anything, and they are going to waste taxpayer money and deprive people of a historic structure. There is no worse a crime against a historic bridge than this. To make matters worse, the road commission is not required to offer this bridge publicly to interested parties for preservation at another location, because someone claims this bridge is not historic. While this marketing method never really works anyway, at least there is a remote chance somebody hears about it. With a bridge this size, it would be easy to move and would look nice in a backyard. Moreover, the assessment of this bridge as non-historic is as outdated as paper computer punchcards. Perhaps twenty years ago, when many more truss bridges were present in the state this non-historic assessment may have been true. But here in the 21st century, any remaining truss bridge is clearly historic. The number of remaining truss bridges has plummeted since the 1995 historic bridge inventory. In particular, the Wallace Road Bridge should also be historic as it appears to retain a great deal of physical and historic integrity.
Perhaps the most rewarding and exciting event when dealing with historic bridges is discovering by luck a truss bridge that you did not expect to. The Wallace Road Bridge does not appear in the Michigan Historic Bridge Inventory, for unknown reasons. Located a half mile north of the doomed Wilbur Road Bridge, this bridge might just be safe only because the Wilbur Road Bridge will be a new ugly pile of concrete with no weight limit.
The bridge is a subdivided warren pony truss. It is composed of thee panels. Connections on the bridge are riveted, and no v-lacing is present on the bridge. Double u-channel style railings are present on the bridge.
This bridge is a nice classic rural pony truss, and is located in an area that allows for some interesting photos. My winter views from atop the hill near this bridge did not turn out as good as I wanted them to, but a mid-day summer visit could offer some spectacular shots.