Sixth Street Bridge, photo taken 1976
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Sixth Street Bridge
Over the Grand River connecting Newberry St NW and Sixth STreet NW, Grand Rapids - Kent County
Other Names Sixth Street Bridge-Local
Property Type bridge
Historic Use TRANSPORTATION/road-related (vehicular)
Current Use TRANSPORTATION/road-related (vehicular)
Style Other
Architect/Builder Massillon Bridge Company
Narrative Description The Sixth Street Bridge spans the Grand River, extending from the west end of Newberry Street to the east end of Sixth Street in Grand Rapids. The structure consists of four parallel cord, single intersection, through Pratt, high truss spans and measures 536 feet long. The wrought-iron truss supports a two lane roadway measuring nineteen feet wide, and is flanked by two external six-foot-wide sidewalks with ornamental railings. Masonry abutments and piers of locally quarried Grand River limestone support the spans.
Statement of Significance The Massillon Bridge Company designed and built the Sixth Street Bridge in 1886 at a cost of $31,000. It is the longest and oldest metal truss bridge in the state and one of the few remaining examples of its type in the nation. Except for a shortening project of the west span and normal weathering, the bridge is unaltered. Particularly significant because it retains its original function, the Sixth Street Bridge continues to provide transportation and link sections of Grand Rapids.
Marker Name Sixth Street Bridge
Marker Text SIXTH STREET BRIDGE The Massillon Bridge Company of Ohio built this $31,000, four-span bridge for Grand Rapids in 1886. The rust-resistant wrought iron used in its four Pratt trusses accounts for its durability. In 1921 the western truss was shortened when the west bank canal was filled in. In 1975 the bridge was slated for demolition, but concerned citizens convinced authorities to save it. This structure, the longest, oldest remaining metal bridge in Michigan, was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.
Period of Significance 1866-1900
Significant Date(s) 1886
Registry Type(s) 04/06/1981 Marker erected
08/13/1976 National Register listed
06/18/1976 State Register listed
Site ID# P4411