Ferry St. / Thorofare Canal

mdot historic bridges wayne county Ferry St. / Thorofare Canal

County: Wayne

City/Township: Grosse Ile

Location: Ferry St. / Thorofare Canal

Year Built: 1947

About this Bridge:
The Ferry Street Bridge is eligible for the National Register as a representative example of a continuous concrete-slab bridge. It is also eligible as an example of the evolution of the road commission's bridge design.

According to the Wayne County Road Commission's 1945-1946 annual report, the county maintained "138 modern river bridges over 30-foot span," plus "more than 50 bridges on secondary roads which are being gradually replaced as funds become available and as the necessity for their replacement demands." In the next year, the old township bridge at Ferry Street, an 85-foot Pratt truss, apparently rose to the top of the list, and was replaced with the present structure. The commission's 1946-1947 annual report included a photograph of a similar structure, the Graham Road Bridge over the Rouge River, with the caption: "This is typical bridge construction for township roads." Development of the Lodge Expressway (M-10) took most of the commission's energy during this period; the Ferry Street Bridge was one of only three township road bridges built in 1947.

The Wayne County Road Commission used the continuos concrete slab as a standard bridge plan in the years following World War II, presumably in part to minimize the use of steel, which was expensive and difficult to obtain during this period. The Ferry Street Bridge was designed under the supervision of chief designer Julian C. Mead, who was employed by the road commission from 1921 to 1957.