A question popped up on Grand Rapids Reddit: Should the 6th Street Bridge Be Painted Red?

The original poster added,

"Then we'd have a red bridge vs blue bridge"

The Sixth Street Bridge is a four-span, wrought iron bridge that crosses the Grand River. The Sixth Street Bridge is 544 foot long. Built in 1886 by the Massillon Bridge Company of Massillon Ohio, the crossing is the longest pin-connected highway truss in the state. The bridge cost $31,365.95 to construct.

In 1975, this bridge was slated for demolition and replacement, but people got together and fought the plans and instead this bridge was rehabilitated.

Google Streetview

The bridge is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. This is Michigan's longest Pratt truss bridge, and one of the oldest metal bridges as well.

PHOTO: City of Grand Rapids

Today, after over 125 years of serving traffic in Michigan's second largest city, the bridge remains in remarkably good condition. In 2002, the bridge was blast cleaned and repainted at an estimated cost of $823,000.

6th Street Bridge Grand Rapids, MI - PHOTO- City of Grand Rapids

In 2012, the bridge underwent more restoration. Replacing the existing timber deck with a concrete-filled metal grid deck, repairing the abutments, and making other minor repairs to the bridge superstructure were all done as part of the 2012 6th Street Bridge Restoration project.

6th Street Bridge-Google Streetview

The lower part of the bridge was also repainted again in 2012. Most problems that metal truss bridges can develop with section loss and rust can be avoided by maintaining the paint.

6th Street Bridge-Google Streetview


Will the 6th street bridge ever change colors? Not likely. The official color of the bridge is the paint color: Carboline's Deep Emerald K351. What do you think? Should it be painted red?

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