Chicagon Mine Rd. / Chicagon Creek

MDOT Historic Bridges Iron County Chicagon Mine Rd. / Chicagon Creek

County: Iron

City/Township: Stambaugh Twp.

Location: Chicagon Mine Rd. / Chicagon Creek

Year Built: 1910

About this Bridge:
The Chicagon Creek Bridge carries the gravel-surfaced Chicagon Mine Road over a small stream in rural Bates Township. The bridge is comprised of a single 25-foot, concrete slab span, supported by concrete abutments with angled concrete wingwalls. The structure is simply detailed, featuring plainly surfaced spandrels and exterior walls of concrete guardrails. Only the interior surfaces of the guardrails have recessed rectangular panels. “September 7, 1910" is etched in the coping of one guardrail, and “DB” is etched in the other. In good structural condition, the Chicagon Creek Bridge has retained a high degree of physical integrity.

Before the standardization of bridge design by the state highway department, county and township road commissions were individually responsible for local bridge design and construction. Most of the vehicular structures built during this period employed either steel truss or timber stringer superstructures; concrete spans, generally restricted to urban areas, were seldom built at rural crossings. The Chicagon Creek Bridge is a notable exception to this trend. Built in 1910, probably for the Iron County Road Commission, it is a simply configured example of early concrete construction. In fact, it is the earliest dateable concrete slab bridge found. As such, the Chicagon Creek Bridge is technologically and historically significant for its representation of pre-MSHD concrete slab bridge design. Although modest in its design and dimensions, it is an important early transportation-related resource.