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Jackson Branch Bridge No. 15
Southern Michigan RR over River Raisin, - Lenawee County
Historic Use TRANSPORTATION/rail related
Current Use TRANSPORTATION/rail related
Style Other
Narrative Description Bridge No. 15 on the former Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railroad's Jackson Branch line is a four-span, metal structure that spans the River Raisin in Raisin Township just west of Raisin Center Highway and south of its intersection with Sutton Road. The 254' 10 1/2" structure carries a single track, part of the Southern Michigan Railroad Society's non-profit, all volunteer-run railroad line from Clinton to Tecumseh and Lenawee Junction. It is comprised of two deck plate girder spans, each 44' in length, at the south end; a single Pratt deck truss span 116' 10 1/2" in length, with pinned connections and inclined end posts, spanning the river; and a third deck plate girder span, 50' in length, at the north end. The structure's abutments and three piers that each support a metal bent that in turn supports the deck girders, are constructed of rock-face ashlar masonry. The bridge rises about forty feet above the river's average surface elevation. The immediate surroundings are wooded.
Statement of Significance Built on one of Michigan's earliest railroad lines, the Palmyra and Jacksonburgh, during the years when that line was operated as the Jackson Branch of the Michigan Southern Railroad, the 1896 Bridge No. 15 with its 117-foot-long main truss is a substantial example of nineteenth-century metal railroad design in southern Michigan. Michigan's first railroad, the Erie & Kalamazoo, was chartered by the Michigan territorial government on April 22, 1833, to build and operate a line from Port Lawrence (soon to be renamed Toledo) to an undetermined point on the Kalamazoo River. The line was opened as far as Adrian on November 2, 1836. The economic downturn of the late 1830s hit soon after and the railroad was never extended past Adrian.
Period of Significance Late 19th Century
Significant Date(s) 1896
Registry Type(s) 12/03/2001 National Register listed
Site ID# P47640