N. Watervliet / Pawpaw Lake Outlet

MDOT Historic Bridge N. Watervliet / Pawpaw Lake Outlet

County: Berrien

City/Township: Watervliet Twp.

Location: N. Watervliet / Pawpaw Lake Outlet

Year Built: 1916

About this Bridge:
The bridge is eligible for the National Register as a well-preserved, early example of a concrete arch bridge built according to a state highway department standard plan.

The bridge plates indicate that this structure was originally Trunk Line Bridge No. 57, built in 1916 by the state highway department. Although plans for the structure do not appear to survive, the design is based on a standard plan. The structure resembles the department's standard plan for a reinforced concrete arch published in the Fifth Biennial Report (1913-1914). It is very similar to a 31-foot span in Hillsdale County, Trunk Line Bridge No. 237, which is also eligible for the National Register. Contractor W. B. Rogers received $5,269 for erecting the North Watervliet Road Bridge. A photograph of the completed structure appeared in the state highway's department's sixth biennial report, published in 1916.

The North Watervliet Road Bridge carried the West Michigan Pike, which paralleled the eastern shore of Lake Michigan from the Indiana border to the straits of Mackinac. Although this route helped promote tourism in western Michigan, archival research did not provide enough information to directly link the construction of the bridge with the tourism industry.