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  • Mike

The Holz-Brücke in Frankenmuth, Michigan

In the town of Frankenmuth there sits a bridge on the Cass River. That bridge is one of the most unique and beautifully constructed covered bridges most people will ever see. It's also very photogenic which is why you should be interested in it.

When most people think of covered bridges they think of something like this. Small, narrow, and pretty simple. There are also usually some pretty severe weight restrictions since the bridges are usually not very strong.

The Holz-Brücke is none of those things. It's a giant structure with very intricate design and amazing structural engineering. There is a huge number of boards in the structure. The Holz-Brücke also is designed large enough to allow busses and semi trucks to pass through. Any time you have heavy vehicles like that going over a bridge there must be a way for the bridge to flex, sometimes called the camber. The Holz-Brücke is designed not only to allow large loads, but also heavy ones to pass over. But how was it that they could be thinking about having tour busses on a bridge that was built a century ago? The answer is even more interesting. This bridge is not that old, it was built in 1979-1980.

You can watch it's amazing construction here.

The Zehnder brothers really did a good thing for Frankenmuth when they had this bridge built. It's not only Bavarian and historic, it's also a beautiful feat of engineering and artistic vision.

Just look at it, it's beautiful with it's lights on at night.. As far as I know it's the only covered bridge with dormers either, but they sure add personality.

Speaking of lights, the lighting on this bridge is extremely thoughtful despite being only tungsten lights for primary lighting, and white, Christmas-style lights for accent. The surrounding lights in the parking lot on one side, and the road on the other are all now LED, very blue looking. The old tungsten lights contrasted against the new lighting is actually brilliantly simple at making you take note that in front of you is something historic and very retro.

During the day you can see clearly the interior construction of the bridge. The Town style lattice creates an "X' shape that repeats itself, but it also gives extremely high strength.

From the side during the day the bridge looks drab and grey, just as if it were an old cottage sitting across the river. Contrasted against the fall colors it's beautiful. There are also quite a few good angles to photograph this bridge from. Visiting this bridge is a must if you are going to be in Frankenmuth.

The bridge is found at the address: Main Street &, Covered Bridge Ln, Frankenmuth, MI 48734



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