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Second Street Bridge

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1886, King Iron Bridge and Manufacturing Company. 2nd St. over the Kalamazoo River

The bridge was built by the King Iron Bridge and Manufacturing Company of Cleveland, Ohio, one of the nineteenth-century's most important bridge-building firms. Zenas King, founder of the company, designed and patented in 1861 a much-improved bowstring truss, which first met with skepticism because it used less iron than earlier metal trusses. His design proved to be strong as well as inexpensive, and his company became one of the largest iron bridge companies in the nation. For the Allegan bridge, the builder used a double-intersection Pratt truss structure of wrought iron and structural steel; the bridge is 18 feet wide and 225 feet long. There are eighteen wrought-iron truss verticals with diagonal bracing, wood beams and planking, iron finials on the end posts, latticed metal handrails, and a wood-floored pedestrian walkway. It is one of the largest King double-intersecting Pratt through trusses remaining in the United States. Following a local effort to save the structure from demolition, the bridge was restored in 1983 with monies from the U.S. Department of Transportation's secondary road funds administered by the Michigan Department of Transportation. It won a National Historic Preservation Presidential Award through the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation for bridge preservation in 1988.

Writing Credits

Kathryn Bishop Eckert


What's Nearby


Kathryn Bishop Eckert, "Second Street Bridge", [Allegan, Michigan], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Michigan

Buildings of Michigan, Kathryn Bishop Eckert. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2012, 270-270.

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