US-12 Bridge over westbound I-94 ramp
US-12I-94 Ramp, Dearborn - Wayne County
Property Type bridge
Historic Use TRANSPORTATION/road-related (vehicular)
Current Use TRANSPORTATION/road-related (vehicular)
Architect/Builder Darin and Armstrong
Michigan State Highway Department
Narrative Description main span number: 1 main span length: 50.0 structure length: 50.0 roadway width: 117.9 structure width: 90.0 US-12 and I-94 intersect at the border of Dearborn and Detroit. US-12, also known as the Pulaski Memorial Highway, is a commercial axis extending west from downtown Detroit; the route has historically served as an important artery between Detroit and points west. Dearborn's downtown begins to the west of I-94, just beyond a railroad overpass. Heavily travelled I-94 carries long-haul traffic between Chicago and Toronto, as well as commuters to downtown Detroit. THe US-12 Bridge over the ramp to westbound I-94 is just west of a significantly larger structure, which carries US-12 over the main traffic lanes of the interstate, then curves to the southwest and descends to pass below the bridge that is the subject of this inventory. THe ramp's eighteen stringers are more closely spaced in the center of the deck, which once carried a streetcar line. The stringers are bridged by rolled and built-up channels bolted to angles that are riveted to the stringers. The replacement railing has a precast concrete base with a horizontal pipe above. It was installed in 1967 as part of a deck replacement project.
Statement of Significance The US-12 Bridge over the ramp to westbound I-94 was built as part of a substantial interchange between these two busy roads. THe interchange was also the connection between the Detroit Industrial Expressway, built during World War Ii, and the Edsel Ford Expressway, on which construction began shortly after the war. Both routes were appropriate for I-94 when the interstate system was established in the 1950s. A more complete discussion of the Edsel Ford Expressway, with which this structure is associated, is included with the inventory of the M-10SB Bridge over I-94. Both US-12 bridges were erected at the same time, the final phase of the construction of the interchange. When the highway department opened bids for the project on 15 July 1948, Peter Darin and John Armstrong, principals in the Detroit Construction firm of Darin and Armstrong, won the award with the low bid of approximately $925,000. Construction began 4 August. Progress was delayed in October by a ruptured high-pressure water main, and the structure was not finished until the following August. Other contractors involved included Charles J. Rogers of Detroit (excavation) and the Great Lakes Steel Company. State Highway Commissioner Charles Ziegler cut the ribbon at a well-attended opening ceremony on 17 August 1949. Paired with the adjacent US-12 Bridge over I-94, the US-12 Bridge over the I-94 ramp represents the completion of a major interchange linking two of the country's earliest limited-access freeways, the Detroit Industrial Expressway and the Edsel Ford Expressway. The combined route, later rechristened I-94, illustrates the transition of highway development from serving wartime needs to fueling post-war prosperity. The route became a model for freeway design throughout the country, helping to stimulate the construction of the modern interstate system. As such, it is eligible for the National Register under Criterion A. It is also eligible with the US_12 Bridge over I-94 under Criterion C, as a representation of an intersection that presented significant challenges to engineers during both the design and construction phases.
Significant Date(s) 1948
Registry Type(s) 02/04/2000 National Register listed
Site ID# P25535