Jefferson Avenue Bascule Bridge
Location Name: Jefferson Avenue Bascule Bridge (Detroit, Michigan)
Location Type: Bridge(Bascule)
Year Completed: 1922
Builder(s): Stroebel Steel Construction Company and Others
The Jefferson Avenue Bridge carries West Jefferson Avenue across the Rouge River and connects the cities of Detroit and River Rouge, Michigan. The historic bascule bridge was opened to traffic on 17 October 1922 after a multiple year project of replacing the bridges along the Rouge River to accommodate larger vessel traffic and improve local transportation. As a bascule bridge, the roadway closes to traffic and opens to allow large ships access to ports farther upriver.
The bridge is supported by four twelve-foot square concrete footings sunken to the bedrock approximately seventy feet below the river’s surface. Several contractors were involved with the construction of the bridge, but the steel trusses were built by the Stroebel Steel Construction Company of Chicago. The bridge has a total structure length of 248 feet, a width of 70 feet and a navigational vertical clearance of 9.8 feet. The Jefferson Avenue Bridge is one of three bascule bridges along the lower stretch of the Rouge River. Though it was modified slightly in the 1980s, the Jefferson Avenue Bridge is the only surviving pony truss bascule bridge in Michigan.
The Jefferson Avenue Bridge was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2000.Sources