The Tridge (Midland, Michigan)

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The Tridge
The Tridge in downtown Midland
The Tridge in downtown Midland
CarriesPedestrian and bicycle traffic
CrossesChippewa River and Tittabawassee River confluence
LocaleMidland, Michigan, USA
DesignThree-way suspended deck arch bridge
MaterialWood
Construction cost$732,000
Opened1981
Coordinates43°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)
The Tridge (Midland, Michigan) is located in Michigan
The Tridge (Midland, Michigan)
The Tridge (Midland, Michigan) (Michigan)
 
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For other uses, see Tridge (disambiguation).
The Tridge
The Tridge in downtown Midland
The Tridge in downtown Midland
CarriesPedestrian and bicycle traffic
CrossesChippewa River and Tittabawassee River confluence
LocaleMidland, Michigan, USA
DesignThree-way suspended deck arch bridge
MaterialWood
Construction cost$732,000
Opened1981
Coordinates43°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)
The Tridge (Midland, Michigan) is located in Michigan
The Tridge (Midland, Michigan)
The Tridge (Midland, Michigan) (Michigan)
External images
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 near downtown Midland, Michigan, in the Tri-Cities region. Named as a portmanteau of "tri" and "bridge", the structure opened in 1981.[1][2] 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.[1]

History[edit]

The bridge was constructed in 1981 at the instigation of the Midland Area Community Foundation (MACF).[3] The bridge cost $732,000 to build, and took 6,400 hours of labor.[4] 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).[1][4] Gerace Construction Company worked on the project.[5] As a symbol, the bridge has been popularized and is the subject, for example, of lithographs.[6]

Recreation[edit]

The Tridge is a tourist attraction.[7] It and its two surrounding parks—35 acres (14 ha) in Chippewassee and St. Charles parks[8]—are one of most popular leisure areas downtown.[9] 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.[10] 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.[11] 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.[12] 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.[11]

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.

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.[13] It was solemnly reported that: “Despite the construction, Santa Claus will still cross the Tridge into downtown Midland ... for the annual Midland County Courthouse lighting ceremony.”[14]

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 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. 
  2. ^ Staff. "Tridge—the triple bridge". Paradoxoff Planet. Retrieved December 4, 2011. 
  3. ^ Staff (July 1, 2011). "Midland Area Community Foundation News". Midland Area Community Foundation. Retrieved December 6, 2011. 
  4. ^ a b Erickson, Chris (December 15, 1999). "The Tridge". MidlandOnline. Commercial Software. Retrieved December 4, 2011. 
  5. ^ Staff. "Midland Tridge". Gerace Construction Company. Retrieved December 4, 2011. 
  6. ^ LaNoue, Maggie (2011). "Tridge, Midland, Michigan" (Signed lithograph). Retrieved December 4, 2011. 
  7. ^ Kirby, Doug; Smith, Ken; Wilkins, Mike (January 26, 2009). "Midland, Michigan—The Tridge—3-Way Bridge". Roadside America. Retrieved December 4, 2011. 
  8. ^ Staff. "Downtown Midland Attractions". Downtown Midland. Downtown Development Authority. Retrieved December 4, 2011. 
  9. ^ Staff. "Midland Parks & Gardens". Worldweb.com. Retrieved December 4, 2011. 
  10. ^ Staff. "Pere Marquette Rail-Trail". Trail Link. Rails to Trails Conservancy. Retrieved December 5, 2011. 
  11. ^ 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. 
  12. ^ Staff (August 24, 2011). "Labor Day Tridge Walk" (Press release). Midland Area Community Foundation. Retrieved December 4, 2011. 
  13. ^ Staff (November 9, 2011). "Farmers Market leg of the Tridge closed". Midland Daily News. Retrieved December 5, 2011. 
  14. ^ Staff (November 23, 2011). "Tridge and Rail-Trail Closures Won’t Affect Santa" (Press release). City of Midland Department of Public Services. Retrieved December 4, 2011. 

External links[edit]