East River Rd. / N. Hickory CanalCounty: Wayne
City/Township: Grosse Ile
Location: East River Rd. / N. Hickory Canal
Year Built: 1945 About this Bridge: The East River Road 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. The East River Road Bridge was built as part of a project to straighten and widen a section of the south end of East River Road. The road, which had run along the bank of the Detroit River, was moved to the west, and the existing timber bridge was removed. Plans for the new bridge were approved by chief designer Julian C. Mead in February 1944. The bridge was apparently not completed until the following year. The Wayne County Road Commission used the continuous concrete slab as a standard bridge plan in the years during and after World War II, presumably in part to minimize the use of steel, which was expensive and difficult to obtain during this period. The commission experimented with different forms for the precast concrete bent piles. On East River Road, the piles are octagonal in section.