Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Pere Marquette Railroad Bridge - Port Huron

One of the more unique things to see in Port Huron is the Pere Marquette Railroad Bridge.  I think I've done pictures of it on here before because it satisfies two of my interests....bridges and trains.  It would be really cool if ships went down the river and then I could hit a sort of tri-fecta but I don't think they do that anymore.
 The bridge itself was built in 1931 for the Pere Marquette Railroad.  Both the man it is named after and the railroad itself figure prominently in Michigan history.  Pere Marquette was a French missionary who explored much of Michigan.  There is a memorial to him near the Mackinac Bridge on the St. Ignace side.

The railroad was established in 1900 after the merger of three railroads.  It operated in most of Michigan.  It remained in service until 1947 at which time it was merged into the C&O railroad.
 The bridge is an Abt Bascule Bridge which is based on a patent by Hugo A.F. Abt.  Only two other examples of this type of Bridge remain in Michigan.  There aren't too many other examples left in the United States as a whole.

 The design is based on a counter weight which is used to raise and lower the bridge.
There is a movement afoot to demolish the bridge.  I realize that sometimes things like this get in the way of progress but I also think that we as a society should make an effort to preserve our historic relics especially when there are so few examples left.

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