2014 Historic Bridge Weekend in Michigan

Mackinac Bridge at night. One of the key bridges on the places to visit list for this year’s HB Weekend. Photo taken by Nathan Holth of HistoricBridges.org

Three-day Event to take place September 5-7, 2014.

Labor Day weekend usually marks the end of summer and the start of the school year throughout the US, unless you are living in some states that have already started school. Yet if you or your child is a bridge fan, like Nathan Holth, then you could consider this year’s Historic Bridge Weekend as the event to close out this summer vacation.

This year’s event, hosted by the author and columnist of HistoricBridges.org, will take place in Michigan, focusing on the creme dela creme of historic bridges. The three-day weekend will start with a tour of Historic Bridge Park on the evening of September 5th, beginning at 5:00pm. Located near Battle Creek, this park features six historic bridges that were brought in from places in southern Michigan, restored and erected as trails throughout the park. The complex received the Chronicles’ Ammann Awards for Best Kept Secret in 2011.

After touring southern Michigan and parts of northern Indiana on Saturday (including a Saturday night photo opportunity of the bridges in Grand Rapids), Sunday’s tour will feature a visit to the Big Mac. Built in 1957 under the direction of David Steinman, the five-mile long bridge, with the main span of 3,800 feet, still remains the longest single bridge in the western hemisphere. Also included in the Sunday tour are the bridges in the Sault Sainte Marie area, which will mark the first time that the HB Weekend will include some bridges outside the US. Sault Ste. Marie is located at the US-Canadian Border and features over a half dozen key structures straddling the St. Mary’s River and the international border, including the International Bridge, built by Steinman and Associates in 1962.

If you have any questions or are interested in participating in this rather informal event that will bring together pontists and bridge enthusiasts from all over the country, please contact Nathan Holth using the contact details enclosed here.    Highlights of the Historic Bridge Weekend will be provided in the Chronicles in case if it is impossible to make the event but would like to know which bridges to see while visiting Michigan. The author of the Chronicles already has a few bridges to visit on his agenda for his visit to the region in the future.

Author’s Note: A book on the Mackinac Bridge will be featured in the Chronicles’ Book of the Month soon.

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2 Responses to 2014 Historic Bridge Weekend in Michigan

  1. David Denenberg says:

    The Mackinac is not the longest bridge in the Western Hemisphere. Its claim is just for the longest “under cable” length of any suspension bridge in the Western Hemisphere.

  2. Steve Lindsey says:

    Maybe when you visit the International Bridge in Sault Ste Marie, Mi, you can also visit Fort Street Bridge, stored in pieces nearby. An agreement had this bridge to be erected at a park west of the city center ( Sault Ste Marie, Mi ). See: http://www.historicbridges.org/bridges/browser/?bridgebrowser=truss/fortsault/
    and in pieces: http://wikimapia.org/2280033/Old-Fort-Street-Bridge

    Maybe you might also consider e-mailing a letter-to-the-editor to the Sault Evening News might spark interest in this project again?

    ( In the interest of disclosure, I was stationed in the Sault as a young coast guardsman in the 1980s and championed saving the span back in the day with letters to the paper. )

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