The ‘Phantom’ Bridge of Red Arrow Road, Benton Heights
It's surprising to discover just how many abandoned bridges there are still standing in Michigan. Many are crumbling, closed down, blocked off, or hidden somewhere in the woods years after the roads were shut for good. Thus the term 'phantom', meaning a hidden reminder of what once was.
This particular structure is the 'phantom' bridge just off Red Arrow Highway, Benton Heights, Berrien County.
An old atlas from 1873 shows a road crossing over Blue Creek, so it would appear that a bridge was constructed there not long before. The date of construction is unknown, but it's possible it started out as a wooden bridge and converted to concrete some years later.
In 1922, the road was re-aligned, and a new bridge was constructed, shutting off access to the original. Having traffic diverted away, it didn't take long for the old bridge to be overgrown with trees, brush, and grass, which eventually hid the bridge from travelers and completely overtook the old road.
According to bridgehunter.com, it's “a steel stringer bridge over Blue Creek on (the) former alignment of Red Arrow Highway.....Intact but closed to all traffic on private property”.
True...this bridge is now owned by a private resident. However, if you travel there during fall or winter after the leaves have fallen, it is very easy to spot from the road as you cross over the newer bridge.
Below is a gallery of photos, accompanied by a video with much more detail!
THE PHANTOM BRIDGE OF RED ARROW ROAD