Traverse City Record-Eagle


August 25, 2013

W. Mich. covered bridge reopens after truck damage

VERGENNES TOWNSHIP (AP) — West Michigan’s last remaining original construction covered bridge has reopened after a truck that weighed more than 10 times its load capacity damaged the span.

The 31-ton cement truck damaged the interior cross-bracing of the 142-year-old Fallasburg Covered Bridge on Wednesday, according to The Grand Rapids Press. It reopened a day later after Kent County Road Commission engineers inspected it.

“It did not compromise the structural integrity of the bridge,” Steve Warren, road commission director, told the newspaper. “We felt confident in reopening the bridge to vehicular traffic.”

He said he did not know why the 37-year-old driver crossed the bridge, which is marked with 3-ton limit signs.

Steel rods placed on the bridge in the 1930s and replaced in 1994 likely saved the bridge, said bridge inspector Tom Byle.

“If those tension rods hadn’t been added, it would have been in the river,” he said.

The incident comes just weeks after an arson fire destroyed the Whites Covered Bridge, which is just a few miles up the Flat River from Fallasburg.

“This could have been a catastrophe,” said Alan Rumbaugh, Fallasburg Historical Society treasurer.

The Vergennes Township board recently initiated measures to protect the Fallasburg bridge.

The bridge will be sprayed with a fire retardant, said Township Supervisor Tim Wittenbach. The board also is looking at adding lighting and a surveillance camera.

No damage estimate was available, Warren said, but the driver was cited.


Information from: The Grand Rapids Press,

Text Only

Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Associated Press Video
Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot