Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Trail/Conrail/Pennsy/GR&I Blue Bridge over Grand River in Grand Rapids, MI

(Bridge Hunter, Historic Bridges3D Satellite)
Bob Kline posted
Undated, but I'll guess 1950. The bridge belonged to the GR&I, which was taken over by the PRR in 1918. Today the bridge is a footbridge. The 92 miles of track north of Grand Rapids, MI, is now the White Pine Trail. The last passenger train north ran in 1952. The last freight in 1984. Criminal, but at least the ROW survives. IMHO all abandoned tracks should be preserved - they could never be obtained again in most areas.
Tom commented on his post (below)
 Here's the bridge with a Pennsylvania RR steam train on it, probably from the '40s or early '50s. There has always been an ugly white blotch by the front of the engine on every copy of this photo I've ever seen, so I just repaired it, once and for all. The Pantlind Hotel and McKay tower in my photo above can also be seen here.
Tom Carter shared
Conrail NW2u 9167 leads a string of cars onto the 1892 GR&I bridge over the Grand River in Grand Rapids in June of 1978. The cars in tow will be set off on the north side of Fuller Station for the Michigan Northern to pick up. A few years later the bridge would be painted blue and become the pedestrian "Blue Bridge."
The four prominent background buildings are still there, but would be pretty much hidden by new buildings today. The Amway Grand Plaza Hotel is on the left, then the Fifth Third Bank building, Butterworth Hospital is way back there with the landmark sign atop its roof, and the McKay Tower is at the right. The buildings appear closer than they actually are because I was using a strong telephoto lens, in fact that Butterworth Hospital sign is nearly three quarters of a mile back.

Update: you can rent the bridge for events. (source) It is also a photo op for wedding parties.

Greg Bunce posted
GR&I Bridge over the Grand River, Grand Rapids May 1986.
Tom Carter posted
Here's an obscure 1901 photo of the 1892 GR&I bridge across the Grand River in Grand Rapids, which in the mid '80s became the pedestrian "Blue Bridge." We're looking east southeast, with the GR&I bridge toward the left and Fulton St. bridge on the right. Note the neat railroad tower without a stand at the bottom. Not sure if it's for controlling train movements or if it's a crossing guard shanty for stopping traffic on Front Street. Of course, if you or I had taken the photo, we'd have waited all day if need be for a northbound train!

AJ Grigg posted
Blue Bridge over the Grand River. A line to add to my map, as I hadn’t discovered it yet before visiting Grand Rapids. Apparently this is an ex-Grand Rapids & Indiana Railroad bridge, later part of the PRR. This once led to a station just east of the river, still standing but now an office building today.

The Blue Bridge is easy to spot in the foreground.
Dale Husar posted
Cool shot of the various downtown bridges across the Grand.

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