Out of Possibly Thousands, Here Are Five Abandoned Michigan Bridges
Whether you're hiking, biking, or driving, sooner or later you could come across an old abandoned bridge. Many of them are on smaller roads which were replaced by highways. Varying in size, sometimes they're easy to see, many times not. Also, the Michigan woods & forests are full of old bridges that cross our endless supply of rivers, streams, brooks, and creeks.
Here are just five of the infinite number of abandoned Michigan bridges:
BELL ROAD BRIDGE
This cool old bridge was built in 1891 in the village of Dover, which is now considered to be mostly a ghost town...a few houses are all that remain.
In 1993, it was closed thanks to a drunk driver who crashed into post at the end of the bridge. This didn't sit well with residents, as now they had to take the long way around. Under pressure, the road commission reopened it at a lesser weight limit, meaning no heavy trucks. Even so, the constant auto use caused stone crumbling and the bridge was again closed. Today, the original steel structure sits along the river bank, moved off the river and is easily accessible; it's also on the National Register of Historic Places.
A new bridge has never been built.
HINES PARK BRIDGE
History on this bridge shows this bridge is not that old, being constructed in 1950. Only ten feet wide, it doesn't seem it was meant as a vehicle bridge except for maybe on a one-way street or one car at a time. It is now mainly used for foot and bike travel.
INDIAN LAKE ROAD BRIDGE
This bridge has a few different names: Indian Lake Road Bridge, Long Lake Bridge, and Stone Railroad Bridge. Built in 1891 to aid the Michigan Central Railroad, it's construction year baffles historians: the railroad was laid from 1871-1872 but the bridge wasn't built until 20 years later. Why?
Still in good condition, it is no longer a railroad track nor is it a road...just a well-worn path. According to State Historic Preservation Officer Robert O. Christensen, it's “a fine example of stone masonry work and a rare example of nineteenth-century stone arch bridge building in Michigan”.
SMITH'S CROSSING BRIDGE
Smith's Crossing in Midland County was once called Smithvile, when it was first created as a postal station in 1872. In 1890 a post office update brought about a new community name: Smith's Crossing. It closed for good in 1911. Now there is no Smith's Crossing, just a road by that name and the bridge.
The bridge spans over the Tittabawassee River on Smith Crossing Road. Built in 1907 it was permanently closed in 1989. Also known as the Bailey Bridge, there are restoration plans that the area hopes will be completed in the next couple of years.
THE BRIDGE IN THE WOODS
This last bridge lies somewhere in the Michigan woods. No idea where in Michigan this is – it could be anywhere. there are plenty of abandoned footbridges like this one throughout the state.
So there are five of Michigan's abandoned bridges...there are plenty more. Feel free to go exploring and find others!
MORE ABANDONED MICHIGAN!
Abandoned Atomic Bomb & Boat Factory, Saginaw
Abandoned Michigan Orphanage
Abandoned Fun Country Amusement Park