The Lake Shore Drive Bridge, photo submitted in 1990.
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Lake Shore Drive Bridge
Lake Shore Drive at the Eagle River, Eagle River - Keweenaw County
Other Names M-26 Bridge
Property Type bridge
Historic Use TRANSPORTATION/car-related
Current Use OTHER
Style Other
Architect/Builder Wisconsin Bridge and Iron Company
Narrative Description The Lake Shore Drive Bridge, commonly known as the M-26 Bridge, crosses the Eagle River in the heart of the town of Eagle River within the boundaries of the Eagle River National Register District. The structure is a steel-riveted Warren deck truss bridge, consisting of three spans anchored into concrete abutments. The eighteen-foot-wide bridge consists of a one hundred and five-foot-long main span and two flanking spans thirty-four feet long to the deck, creating a total length of one hundred and thirty-nine feet. The structure's guard rails are woven steel lattice.
Statement of Significance The Lake Shore Drive Bridge was erected in 1915 by the Wisconsin Bridge and Iron Company from designs furnished by the Michigan State Highway Department. The department was established in 1905 under the State Reward Law, which also provided financial aid to local government units for road construction to specific state standards. Michigan became a nationally-recognized leader in standardized bridge plans, used in the state trunk system and supplied upon request to local governments building bridges without state funds. The State Trunk Line Act of 1913 designated a road system of 3,000 miles and offered additional funding for localities. The Lake Shore Drive bridge served as a major transportation artery for the town of Eagle River until recent times. The bridge will be closed to vehicular traffic and rehabilitated for non-motorized use by the Michigan Department of Transportation. The Lake Shore Drive Bridge is an excellent example of a steel deck truss bridge, one of the three surviving historic bridges of its type defined in the Michigan Department of Transportation's "Historic Bridge Report." It is an early example of state assistance to local governments in developing and improving the state transportation network.
Marker Name Lake Shore Drive Bridge / Eagle River
Marker Text LAKE SHORE DRIVE BRIDGE This bridge, completed in 1915, was one of two bridges erected simultaneously by the Michigan State Highway Department across the Eagle River. The second was located in nearby Phoenix. Prior to 1915 a Pratt through truss bridge crossed the fifty-three-foot gorge here. It deteriorated and was replaced with this structure. The highway department designed the bridge, which was constructed by the Wisconsin Bridge & Iron Company of Milwaukee. The Smith-Byers-Sparks Company of Houghton provided the concrete abutments for this steel riveted Warren deck truss bridge, which is 139 feet long. The main span measures 105 feet long and 17 feet wide. In 1990 this bridge was converted to pedestrian use when the adjacent timber bridge opened. EAGLE RIVER In 1843 the Lake Superior Copper Company purchased several land leases for mining. Two years later the Cliff Mine, alleged to be "the first great copper mine in the Western Hemisphere," was opened by the Pittsburgh & Boston Company. The mines attracted large numbers of Germans, Cornishmen and Irishmen and gave rise to other industries. On August 29, 1846, the Lake Superior News and Miners' Journal boasted that Eagle River had "the appearance of a thriving village." In 1850, Prussian immigrant Frank Knivel opened the Knivel Brewery, and in 1862 the Eagle River Fuse Company was established southeast of here on the river. The company manufactured twenty-five thousand feet of fuse per day for use in the mines. In 1861, Keweenaw County was set off from Houghton County and Eagle River became the county seat.
Period of Significance 1901-1930
Significant Date(s) 1915
Registry Type(s) 1991 Marker erected
05/10/1990 State Register listed
Site ID# P23802