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Near Frankenmuth in Saginaw County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Gugel Bridge

 
 
Gugel Bridge Marker image. Click for full size.
1. Gugel Bridge Marker
Inscription.  
Side 1
Built in 1904, this 204-foot-long bridge carried the Detroit and Saginaw Turnpike over the Cass River in Bridgeport Township. By around 1919 the pike, which had become the well-traveled Dixie Highway, required a more substantial crossing, and the bridge was replaced and relocated to this site. The bridge closed in 1979. William “Tiny” Zehnder had the structure restored as a pedestrian bridge in 2004. The Gugel Bridge is listed in the National Historic Register of Historic Places.

Side 2
The Joliet Bridge and Iron Company built at least 25 bridges in Michigan, several of them in Saginaw County. In 1904 the company erected this unusual bridge, which has both a 60-foot pony Pratt truss and a 144-foot Pratt through truss. The bridge originally spanned the Cass River in Bridgeport Township. When it was replaced around 1919, Frankenmuth supervisor and Saginaw County commissioner Christian Gugel moved the bridge to this site at Beyer Road, which lacked a crossing.
 
Erected 2009 by Michigan Historical Commission—Michigan Historical Center. (Marker Number L2168.)
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Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Bridges & Viaducts. In addition, it is included in the Michigan Historical Commission series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1904.
 
Location. Marker has been reported missing. It was located near 43° 19.727′ N, 83° 46.577′ W. Marker was near Frankenmuth, Michigan, in Saginaw County. Marker could be reached from South Beyer Road, half a mile north of East Curtis Road. Beyer Road does not cross the bridge, but there is a small parking area on both the north and south sides of the bridge. Touch for map. Marker was in this post office area: Frankenmuth MI 48734, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this location, measured as the crow flies. A different marker also named Gugel Bridge (a few steps from this marker); Site of St. Lorenz Frame Church (approx. one mile away); Frankenmuth / Saint Lorenz Evangelical Lutheran Church (approx. one mile away); Zehnder’s (approx. 1.8 miles away); Michigan's German Settlers (approx. 1.8 miles away); Rau's Country Store Recalls Bygone Era (approx. 1.8 miles away); Frankenmuth Bavarian Inn (approx. 1.8 miles away); Frankenmuth Bavarian Inn Restaurant (approx. 1.8 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Frankenmuth.
 
Also see . . .
Gugel Bridge image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Joel Seewald, August 11, 2018
2. Gugel Bridge
View of the bridge from the south.

1. Beyer Road Bridge - Frankenmuth, MI. Video (3½ min.) of the bridge that also shows the site of the missing marker and a photo of side 2. (Submitted on September 10, 2021, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan.) 

2. Michigan SP Gugel Bridge. From the National Register of Historic Places Registration Form (2000): "The Gugel Bridge on Beyer Road possesses engineering significance for its 144' long Pratt through truss, one of the longest known Pratt through truss highway bridge spans with pinned connections in Michigan. No Michigan examples of this truss type exceeding 150 feet have been documented. The bridge is one of only six known surviving metal truss highway bridges built by the Joliet Bridge & Iron Company, which built more Michigan highway truss bridges than any other maker whose work has been documented." (Submitted on September 10, 2021, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan.) 
 
Gugel Bridge image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Joel Seewald, August 11, 2018
3. Gugel Bridge
View from Cass River (southeast side of bridge) showing only the Pratt through truss. The pony truss is out of view on the right (north) side.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on September 10, 2021. It was originally submitted on September 10, 2021, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan. This page has been viewed 321 times since then and 11 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on September 10, 2021, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan.
 
Editor’s want-list for this marker. Photos of both sides of the marker. • Can you help?

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Feb. 29, 2024