Lilley Rd. / Lower Rouge River

mdot historic bridges wayne county Lilley Rd. / Lower Rouge River

County:  Wayne

City/Township:  Canton Twp.

Location:  Lilley Rd. / Lower Rouge River

Year Built:  1923

About this Bridge:
This bridge is eligible for the National Register as a well-documented example of a 1920s pony truss.

Under the provisions of the McNitt Act, Wayne County took over responsibility from Canton Township of two narrow, dilapidated, steel bridges along Lilley Road in 1933. One bridge crossed the main channel of the Lower Rouge River; the other spanned an overflow channel about 400 feet away. The county road commission immediately embarked on a project to improve the crossing, first significantly changing the channel to require only one structure. They then installed a skewed truss, which had just been removed from the Telegraph Road crossing of a branch of the Rouge River, north of Warren Road. The truss was no longer suitable for Telegraph Road, which was being widened.

It was originally fabricated and erected in 1923-1924 by the Massillon Bridge and Structural Company of Massillon Ohio. County crews did related site work on Telegraph Road, resulting in a total expense of $20,885 on the project during that fiscal year. In the same period, the county erected "practically a duplicate" pony truss on Telegraph Road over the Rouge River, about 3 miles to the south. The latter bridge is pictured in the road commission's 1923-1924 annual report. The superstructure, which appears essentially identical to the Lilley Road Bridge, has a cantilevered sidewalk and railings; concrete balustrades with urn-shaped spindles edge the approaches.

When the Telegraph Road Bridge was moved to Lilley Road in 1933, its historical integrity was maintained. When the Lilley Road Bridge was surveyed in 1995, a contractor had sandblasted and primed the superstructure, and was in the process of repainting it.