S. Pointe Dr. / Swan Island Canal
City/Township: Grosse Ile
Location: S. Pointe Dr. / Swan Island Canal
Year Built: 1939 About this Bridge: The South Pointe Drive Bridge qualifies for the National Register as a well-documented and attractive example of a Wayne County Road Commission design, and as a product of a federal Depression-era relief program. In the mid-1930s, the Wayne County Road Commission took ownership from the township of a four-span, timber trestle bridge at this site under provisions of the McNitt Act. Upon initial inspection, county engineers found that the bridge had good concrete abutments and appeared to be in reasonable condition, requiring only deck replanking. During preliminary work for the replanking, however, the crew discovered that dry rot had substantially weakened the substructure, necessitating immediate replacement. Lacking money to undertake the project, the county turned to the Works Progress Administration (WPA), which agreed to supply labor. The existing concrete abutments were modified to accommodate a new 40-foot concrete T-beam span. Wood forms from a WPA grade separation project on West Road were reused to shape the bridge's concrete deck. Since the crossing provided the only access to Grosse Ile's South Pointe, traffic was detoured over a temporary bridge during the construction. The road commission's 1937-1938 annual report predicted that the new bridge "with an ornamental concrete handrail will present a pleasing appearance." The bridge plate is dated 1939, suggesting that the final work on the structure was completed in that year.