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57th. St. / Kalamazoo River

MDOT Historic Bridge 57th. St. /Kalamazoo River.


County: Allegan

City/Township: Manlius Twp.

Location: 57th. St. / Kalamazoo River

Year Built: 1900

About this Bridge:
The Kalamazoo River was navigable from Lake Michigan well inland until the late 1920s. The New Richmond Bridge, which consists of four spans and measures 429 feet in length, had a manually-turned swing span which was still in service as late as 1925. The bridge spans the Kalamazoo River at a broad loop where its course turns from northwest to southwest on its way toward Lake Michigan a few miles to the west. This is one of Michigan's oldest metal truss highway bridge and the largest by far in overall length of Michigan's pony truss highway bridges. The bridge's chief importance, however, is that it is one of the oldest – if not the oldest – surviving highway swing bridges in the United States.

The erection of the bridge generated considerable local controversy, as residents opposing to the high cost of an iron structure attempted to halt construction by dislodging piles.