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Yankee Fan

West Michigan Bridges

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Bridges have always struck me as engineered art. From covered bridges to a train bridge, they change the look and feel of an area.

Looking at the bridges downtown and in other areas, what are our favorites, what would we like to see done to existing bridges, and what are the things that everybody should know about their construction and design?

Let me start this by saying that I love lighted bridges. There is nothing better than to see the lights of a bridge reflecting off of water. To me, it adds depth to the scene, especially in an urban center.

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Bridges have always struck me as engineered art. From covered bridges to a train bridge, they change the look and feel of an area.

Looking at the bridges downtown and in other areas, what are our favorites, what would we like to see done to existing bridges, and what are the things that everybody should know about their construction and design?

Let me start this by saying that I love lighted bridges. There is nothing better than to see the lights of a bridge reflecting off of water. To me, it adds depth to the scene, especially in an urban center.

I wish they would make the 96 expressway over the grand in DT look alot cooler, maybe make it look like a suspension, that may be cheesy but you ge the point

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p.s. every time I look through the topics this one appears as West Michigan "Brides" . . .at first I was like, huh? Who's getting married . . . lol :offtopic:

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I thought I would share a picture with you guys taken on Friday in GR. The Sixth Street Bridge is the longest, oldest remaining metal bridge in Michigan. In 1975 the bridge was slated for demolition but concerned citizens convinced authorities to save it.

100_0955.jpg

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man, a cable-stayed bridge over the grand would look awesome.

Is all thats there now just a regular/standard highway style bridge?

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man, a cable-stayed bridge over the grand would look awesome.

Is all thats there now just a regular/standard highway style bridge?

Yep. The 196 bridges over the Grand are your typical run-of-the-mill post and beam eyesores. Those bridges and the whole 131 / 196 innerchange should be taken out and replaced with something better.

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I thought I would share a picture with you guys taken on Friday in GR. The Sixth Street Bridge is the longest, oldest remaining metal bridge in Michigan. ...

Really? I did not know that. (Must be some asterisks in that description...seems like there's a bridge up north that's somewhat longer, and it was made of metal last time I looked. St Ignace area.)

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Really? I did not know that. (Must be some asterisks in that description...seems like there's a bridge up north that's somewhat longer, and it was made of metal last time I looked. St Ignace area.)

There's that, oh, what's it called, "Mackinac Bridge" up there that's a smidge longer... :P

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Can we just bury the whole interchange? We'll call it "the Little Dig" and it will cost us billions. It'll be sweet.

-nb

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Really? I did not know that. (Must be some asterisks in that description...seems like there's a bridge up north that's somewhat longer, and it was made of metal last time I looked. St Ignace area.)

I could be wrong, but I believe the Mackinac Bridge is classified a "suspension bridge", and not a "metal bridge" (even though it has metal in it).

Metal Bridge Construction

I'm going to guess that ZachariaDaMan got the info from the plaque in 6th Street Park right near the 6th Street Bridge.

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I'm going to guess that ZachariaDaMan got the info from the plaque in 6th Street Park right near the 6th Street Bridge.

Tru dat

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Really? I did not know that. (Must be some asterisks in that description...seems like there's a bridge up north that's somewhat longer, and it was made of metal last time I looked. St Ignace area.)

GRDadof3 is right, it is considered a suspension bridge. There is some info about the Mackinac Bridge in the paper today and that is what they called it. It is the 3rd longest in the world.

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Really? I did not know that. (Must be some asterisks in that description...seems like there's a bridge up north that's somewhat longer, and it was made of metal last time I looked. St Ignace area.)

I think by "metal" he means metal truss bridge.

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I'm pretty sure the Grand isn't wide enough for a suspension bridge unless you want it looking really horrible.

I just can't picture a bridge that wide, that short, with suspension.

I think as far as appearance goes, the best thing to do there would indeed be to bury it. Either that or something could be done with it if the bridge height was decreased dramatically.

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I'm pretty sure the Grand isn't wide enough for a suspension bridge unless you want it looking really horrible.

I just can't picture a bridge that wide, that short, with suspension.

I think as far as appearance goes, the best thing to do there would indeed be to bury it. Either that or something could be done with it if the bridge height was decreased dramatically.

burying it would be great.

and a suspension bridge wouldnt work, at all. But, what would work, as far as i know, would be some sort os an arch bridge.

a compression arch suspended-deck bridge would look cool.

Australia_sydney-404.jpg

or a tied arch bridge would look cool, on a much smaller scale in GR than it is in this pittsburgh shot, of course.

693px-FortPittBridge.jpg

what do you guys think?

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I did this quick sketchup file of what I would do with the 196 bridges going over the Grand River.

post-11190-1156388188_thumb.jpg

I've used traditional colors and materials as a nod to GR's history but give the bridge but gave it a modern edge for a distintive look.

post-11190-1156388188_thumb.jpg

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hmmm, double decker? i like that idea.

thats a good drawing, btw. i never drew anything that good on sketchup.

etid- yes, i know thats improper grammer.

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hmmm, double decker? i like that idea.

thats a good drawing, btw. i never drew anything that good on sketchup.

etid- yes, i know thats improper grammer.

I'm very impressed with what I can do with sketchup. That just the free version I'm using. I can't wait to get the pro version. Anyway, I went double decker because it added more substance to the bridge and would realign the 131 /196 innerchange to open up room for more lanes to be added.

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a bridge like yours would look awesome, but do you think that MDOT/ THe Feds would dish out the cash for such a bridge when they could get away with using a standard highway bridge, since its not that wide of a span?

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a bridge like yours would look awesome, but do you think that MDOT/ THe Feds would dish out the cash for such a bridge when they could get away with using a standard highway bridge, since its not that wide of a span?

If the Grand River were a shipping channel then we would have seen a bridge like mine along time ago plus some very cool looking cantilevered truss bridges. However since the Grand is not navigable waters, we're probably stuck with the standard post and beam style bridges like we have now. However it would be nice if they could atleast do the same cosmetic work as what they did to the S-curve when it was rebuilt. I would find that acceptable.

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^ Looks like its time to launch a massive project then. Dredge the river to allow boats up to 50ft long, and install new bridges.

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I'd rather see the rocks thrown back into the river, and the cataracts (except for maybe the largest all the way upstream, but that could use some work to look a bit more natural) and actually have rapids... back in Grand Rapids again. That alone can enhance the appearance of the bridges.

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