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Stony Creek Bridge
Stoney Creek, Olive - Clinton County
Property Type bridge
Historic Use TRANSPORTATION/road-related (vehicular)
Current Use TRANSPORTATION/road-related (vehicular)
Style Other
Architect/Builder unknown
Narrative Description This single-span wrought iron bridge crosses Stoney Creek on an abandoned road segment in rural Olive Township. Spanning about 40 feet, the Stoney Creek Bridge is a pin-connected Queenpost pony truss, with web members comprised as follows: upper chord and inclined end post - two channels with cover and batten plates; lower chord and vertical - two punched rectangular eyebars; and diagonal - two round eyerods with turnbuckles. I-beam floor beams are hung from the lower chord pins by U-bolts and support steel stringers, which carry a timber deck. The truss is supported by concrete abutments with stone masonry wingwalls. The bridge has been superseded by a concrete culvert and now stands abandoned and in deteriorating condition. main span number: 1 main span length: 40.0 structure length: 42.0 roadway width: 16.0 structure width: 18.0
Statement of Significance The queenpost's origins are ancient and obscure. Its symmetrical form lent itself naturally to timber roof framing, where the truss was first used in the Middle Ages. Early American carpenters constructed kingpost and queenpost bridges at minor crossings throughout the eastern United States. The technology for these two truss types spread to Michigan with the pioneers in the 18th and 19th centuries. As a result, uncounted timber kingposts and queen posts were built on the region's early roads. The truss forms remained the same as their construction evolved from the vernacular to the industrial in the 19th century, with the principal changes involving materials used: timber, timber/iron, iron, steel. All-metal versions were marketed to the counties and townships by bridge fabricators as inexpensive structure types for short span applications. THis relatively narrow span range limited their use, however. As steel beam bridges received widespread acceptance after the turn of the 20th century, erection of kingpost and queenpost trusses declined correspondingly. Kingposts were far more frequently employed than the inherently longer queen posts. THe latter truss type was superseded in its all-metal configuration by the three-panel Pratt, which closely resembled the queenpost in all ways except the composition of its verticals. (Pratt verticals act in compression; queenpost verticals in tension.) Subsequent attrition has eliminated all of Michigan's queenposts but this one diminutive span in Clinton County. Apparently built in the 1880s, it is thus technologically significant as the last example of its kind of what was once mainstay structural type. The Stoney Creek Bridge is today distinguished as a well-preserved, early illustration of small-scale wrought iron truss construction.
Period of Significance ca. 1880
Significant Date(s) 1880
Registry Type(s) 11/30/1999 National Register listed
Site ID# P22252