Main Street Bridge

Eagle River |

Significance

The village of Eagle River grew from necessity as the only viable port south of Eagle Harbor. Newly formed mines within the Keweenaw’s interior such as the Cliff and Phoenix required such a convenient port for acquiring supplies and shipping out copper, and Eagle River was their best bet. The mouth of the Eagle River was dredged, and long loading wharfs reaching far out into the lake were built alongside. Quickly a thriving commercial district was established, expanding inland along what would become known as Main Street.

The first bridge to cross the river did so at its mouth, along a crude wood plant structure. As the village prospered and the commercial district thrived, two other bridges were built further up stream. Both bridges were built of iron and of a through-truss design, with the “upper bridge” designed for more heavier lodes. Built in 1909 the “lower bridge” was a much smaller and narrower structure, used mainly for light commercial traffic. In 1915 the upper bridge was replaced as part of the new state trunk-line, while the lower bridge was left untouched and became known as the “Main Street Bridge”.

Description

The main street bridge is one of the few pony truss style bridges still surviving in Michigan. The bridge is 92 feet long with a single lane bridge deck 18 feet wide.

Gallery

Contemporary Use

After several years of neglect, the century old bridge has been rehabilitated and re-opened, but for foot traffic only.

Public Access

The bridge is open to the public but the surrounding gorge over which it spans is private property.

Directions

The three bridges over the Eagle River gorge sit downtown in Eagle River. Upon entering Eagle River and crossing the river on the new bridge immediately turn left onto Main Street. The Main Street Bridge will be half way down the block on the right.