The Iconic Inkster Avenue Bridge in Westnedge Hill, Kalamazoo is Closing Forever
You will never again be able to drive the simple but charming Inkster Avenue bridge over Bronson Boulevard in Kalamazoo's Westenedge Hill neighborhood. The bridge is closing permanently to vehicle traffic on Monday, May 3.
The announcement came from the city's Department of Public Works stating that the wooden structure has become too unstable over the years to support cars and trucks. The city says they've been inspecting the bridge every three months and are noticing deformations, or sagging, of the wooden structure. The bridge will remain open to pedestrian and bicycle traffic.
The city is pursuing funding for a replacement.
The posted detour route will be from University to Edgemoor.
History of the Inkster Avenue Bridge
BridgeReports.com shares that the Inkster Avenue Bridge was only built in 1990. It seems startling that the infrastructure has deteriorated so quickly in just 30 years.
Inspection reports rated the bridge in 'Very Good' condition in the early 2000s but had slipped to 'fair' condition by 2018.
Inkster Bridge Memories and Halloween Tradition
Vanished Kalamazoo on Facebook, of course, has some great memories shared on the Inkster Avenue Bridge. One of the most striking is images of Bronson Boulevard before housing development when the roadway was being carved out of the ravine.
There's also a story shared about a Halloween tradition of throwing pumpkins from the bridge and turning the Bronson Boulevard pavement below orange.
The section of Bronson Blvd., directly under the Inkster Ave. bridge, every Halloween nite was bright orange because of the numerous pumpkins that were dropped off the bridge. In fact, for many years the Kazoo PD would post an officer at the bridge to prevent the prank......primarily due to there being MANY pumpkin carcasses littering B[ronson] which was a driving hazard.
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