The Tridge (Midland, Michigan)

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The Tridge
The Tridge in downtown Midland
The Tridge in downtown Midland
Coordinates 43°36′40″N 84°14′55″W / 43.611052°N 84.248689°W / 43.611052; -84.248689 (The Tridge)Coordinates: 43°36′40″N 84°14′55″W / 43.611052°N 84.248689°W / 43.611052; -84.248689 (The Tridge)
Carries Pedestrian and bicycle traffic
Crosses Chippewa River and Tittabawassee River confluence
Locale Chippewassee Park, Midland, Michigan, United States
Characteristics
Design Three-way suspended deck arch bridge
Material Wood
History
Construction cost $732,000
Opened 1981
The Tridge (Midland, Michigan) is located in Michigan
The Tridge (Midland, Michigan)
The Tridge (Midland, Michigan) (Michigan)
External image
Midland River Days poster featuring The Tridge

The Tridge is the formal name of a three-way wooden footbridge spanning the confluence of the Chippewa and Tittabawassee Rivers in Chippewassee Park[1] near downtown Midland, Michigan, in the Tri-Cities region. Named as a portmanteau of "tri" and "bridge", the structure opened in 1981.[2][3] It consists of one 31-foot (9.4 m) tall central pillar supporting three spokes. Each spoke is 180 feet (55 m) long by 8 feet (2.4 m) wide.[2]

History[edit]

The bridge was constructed in 1981 at the instigation of the Midland Area Community Foundation (MACF).[4] The bridge cost $732,000 to build, and took 6,400 hours of labor.[5] Ten railroad car loads of prefabricated wood, and 337 cubic yards (258 m3) of concrete were used to construct three arches, which weigh 44,000 pounds (20,000 kg) apiece. Each appendage is 180 by 8 feet (54.9 by 2.4 m).[2][5] Gerace Construction Company worked on the project.[6] As a symbol, the bridge has been popularized and is the subject, for example, of lithographs.[7]

The Tridge was closed in November 2011 due to work on the rails-to-trails project, and the construction of a new canoe launch site.[8]

In April 2017, the Tridge was closed for renovations with all stain to be removed and restained and some board replacements. The bridges full reopening would happen in October with a partial reopening on the Fourth of July. Rollin M. Gerstacker Foundation donated $2.5 million towards the project.[9]

Recreation[edit]

The Tridge is a tourist attraction.[10] It and its two surrounding parks—35 acres (14 ha) in Chippewassee and St. Charles parks[11]—are one of the most popular leisure areas downtown.[12] The 3.5-mile (5.6 km) Chippewa Nature Trail begins at the bridge.

The site also marks the starting point of the Pere Marquette Rail Trail, a Michigan Rails to Trails Conservancy Hall of Fame trail.[13] Although being mainly a footbridge, bicycles, skateboards, and in-line skates are also allowed on the bridge. It is the focal point for summer evening concerts.[14] Fishing is generally not permitted from the bridge although it does occur frequently.

The Tridge, located beside the Midland farmers market, has become an icon of the city, and is the most famous landmark of the downtown area. Each year, the Tridge mimics the Mackinac Bridge to the north, in hosting a "Labor Day walk". The festive annual event is sponsored by MACF and the Chippewa Nature Center, and led by the mayor of Midland.[15] In addition, St. Charles Park, which surrounds the Tridge, is host to many public and private events. At night the bridge's arches are lit.[14]

During summer evenings, the Tridge is a popular hangout spot for local teens largely because it is near the Downtown area and several popular areas. The Trilogy Skatepark is located just 300 feet (91 m) north of the Tridge in Chippewassee Park.

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

  • Y-Bridge, for other three-legged bridges
  • The Tridge, an American political newsmagazine based in Midland, Michigan

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The most unusual place in each of Michigan's 83 counties". MLive.com. March 20, 2017. Retrieved April 27, 2017. 
  2. ^ a b c Meyer, Zlati (December 4, 2011). "You haven't lived here until ... You trudge over the Tridge". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved December 4, 2011. 
  3. ^ Staff. "Tridge—the triple bridge". Paradoxoff Planet. Retrieved December 4, 2011. 
  4. ^ Staff (July 1, 2011). "Midland Area Community Foundation News". Midland Area Community Foundation. Retrieved December 6, 2011. 
  5. ^ a b Erickson, Chris (December 15, 1999). "The Tridge". MidlandOnline. Commercial Software. Retrieved December 4, 2011. 
  6. ^ Staff. "Midland Tridge". Gerace Construction Company. Retrieved December 4, 2011. 
  7. ^ LaNoue, Maggie (2011). "Tridge, Midland, Michigan" (Signed lithograph). Retrieved December 4, 2011. 
  8. ^ Staff (November 9, 2011). "Farmers Market leg of the Tridge closed". Midland Daily News. Retrieved December 5, 2011. 
  9. ^ Trylch, Rebecca (April 24, 2017). "Tridge renovations underway in Midland". ABC12. WJRT. Retrieved April 25, 2017. 
  10. ^ Kirby, Doug; Smith, Ken; Wilkins, Mike (January 26, 2009). "Midland, Michigan—The Tridge—3-Way Bridge". Roadside America. Retrieved December 4, 2011. 
  11. ^ Staff. "Downtown Midland Attractions". Downtown Midland. Downtown Development Authority. Retrieved December 4, 2011. 
  12. ^ Staff. "Midland Parks & Gardens". Worldweb.com. Retrieved December 4, 2011. 
  13. ^ Staff. "Pere Marquette Rail-Trail". Trail Link. Rails to Trails Conservancy. Retrieved December 5, 2011. 
  14. ^ a b Zedaker, Carol (June 21, 2011). "Tunes by the Tridge continues Thursday in Midland". Midland, MI: Booth Mid-Michigan (M-Live.com). Retrieved December 4, 2011. 
  15. ^ Staff (August 24, 2011). "Labor Day Tridge Walk" (Press release). Midland Area Community Foundation. Retrieved December 4, 2011. 

External links[edit]