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Historic Bridges

The task of transporting copper from mine to mill and then to smelter was made much more difficult by the rugged and rocky terrain encountered along the peninsula. Deep ravines and gorges had been cut through the high ridges and plateaus along the Keweenaw's spine, requiring large trestles to be constructed in order to bridge the gap. To make things even more convoluted was the sheer number of separate railroad lines, which often crossed by mean of cuts and bridges. Along several portions of the most traveled corridors it was not uncommon to see several bridges stacked on on top of another.

With the advent of the automobile and the arrival of the state highway system to the peninsula, the difficult terrain reared its complications yet again. The most pressing obstacle was the Keweenaw Waterway, which had essentially cut the Keweenaw into two. Several of Michigan's most unique bridges would follow, cumulating in the heaviest lift bridge in the world to do the job.



Trestle

C&H Trestle

Calumet - This small through girder railroad bridge once carried the Calumet and Hecla Railroad over the Mineral Range Railroad's main line, on its way to the Red Jacket Shaft. Learn More...

Fanny Hooe Creek Bridge

Fanny Hooe Creek Bridge

Copper Harbor - This unique cement arch bridge crossing Fanny Hooe Creek was built in 1927 to facilitate the use of the newly opened state park on the other side. Learn More...

Hungarian Gorge Trestle

Hungarian Gorge Trestle

Tamarack City - Once one of three trestles that originally crossed the deep gorge cradling the Hungarian River, this old Copper Range RR crossing has now been repurposed as an impressive ATV bridge. Learn More...

Lake Shore Drive Bridge (1915)

Lake Shore Drive Bridge (1915)

Eagle River - This Warren deck truss bridge was one of Michigan's original state funded bridges, built in 1915 to carry traffic over the Eagle River gorge. Learn More...

Lake Shore Drive Bridge (1990)

Lake Shore Drive Bridge (1990)

Eagle River - Built in 1990, this beautiful and unique wood arched bridge carries US41 traffic over the Eagle River gorge. Learn More...

Main Street Bridge

Main Street Bridge

Eagle River - This through-truss steel bridge was built in 1909 to connect the east and west sides of Eagle River, previously separated by the river of the same name. It's now a pedestrian bridge. Learn More...

Portage Lift Bridge

Portage Lift Bridge

Houghton - Built in 1959 to replace in earlier swing bridge, this 100 foot tall lift bridge was built with a double deck to accommodate both road and rail traffic. Learn More...

Traprock Valley RR Trestle

Traprock Valley RR Trestle

Lake Linden - This through girder railroad bridge carried Calumet and Hecla's Traprock Valley branch over the state highway but now only carries ATV traffic. Learn More...