Sunday, January 13, 2013

The West Jefferson Avenue Bridge

After finishing with Arthur M. Anderson, it was off to Jefferson Avenue and the Rouge River to catch the Lee A. Tregurtha as she headed towards the Rouge River Steel Plant.  I've been on this bridge before, but never really covered its history.
 The roads over Jefferson Avenue used to go over swing bridges until it was decided in the 1910's to dredge the Rouge River so that freighters could service the Ford Rouge River Complex which was completed in 1917.
 Wayne County was going to oversee construction of the bridges but legislation had to be passed for this to happen.  Once it did, it was decided that they wanted to build a Chicago style bascule type bridge (I wondered why this reminded me of some of the Bridges in Chicago).
 The Bridge was built by the Valley Bridge and Iron Company of Kansas and was completed in 1922.
 This bridge is the last example of its type in Michigan.  Sadly, like so many other things in Detroit, it looks like it has seen better days.  It was renovated in the early 80's and looks like it could use that again.
 I kind of wish I could get a shot of it from the River, but oh well.
 A couple of pictures to get a sense of place.  It is a very industrial area.
A shot of the tracks.

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