Liberty Bridge (Bay City, Michigan)

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Liberty Bridge
Coordinates43°36′17″N 83°53′26″W / 43.60466°N 83.8905°W / 43.60466; -83.8905
CrossesSaginaw River
LocaleBay City, Michigan
Official nameLiberty Bridge
DesignBascule bridge
Daily traffic20,000 vehicles per day (approx.)[1]

The Liberty Bridge is a bascule-type drawbridge located in Bay City, Michigan, United States. It spans the Saginaw River and connects Vermont Street (on the west side of the river) and Woodside Avenue (on the east side), it was built in 1986.[1]


Third Street Bridge, the Liberty Bridge's predecessor, with Sage Mill in background, 1918. The bridge collapsed in 1976 after being hit by a freighter.
The Third Street Waterfall Park today marks the location of the former Third Street Bridge

The Liberty Bridge was built to replace the Third Street Bridge, a small swing bridge located just south of the Liberty Bridge connecting Midland and Third Streets. The Third Street Bridge was the first bridge built across the Saginaw River in Bay City, it was originally built as a wooden bridge in 1864 by the Bay City Bridge Company. Its superstructure was reconstructed with iron and steel in 1872.[2]

Liberty Bridge opened for tall ships in 2010

On June 18, 1976, the swing span of the Third Street Bridge collapsed as it was being opened, forcing the bridge out of service permanently, it had been struck by a vessel the evening before. A debate ensued on where to build a replacement bridge. In order to receive federal funding, the new bridge was required to have four lanes and a four-lane bridge at the same site would have necessitated the demolition of some historic buildings; as a result, the Liberty Bridge was built just north of the old bridge site, connecting Woodside Avenue and Vermont Street.[3]


  1. ^ a b "Bridge department". Public Works Department, City of Bay City, Michigan. Archived from the original on June 12, 2013. Retrieved May 25, 2013.
  2. ^ "Third Street Bridge - 1890 Newspaper Accounts". Bay-Journal. Retrieved 2 December 2015.
  3. ^ Younkman, Tim (3 June 2011). "Bay City changed forever the day the Third Street Bridge broke". M Live. Retrieved 2 December 2015.

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