|Name:||GTW RR over LANTZ|
|Location:||W OF JOHN R|
|Purpose:||Carries railroad over highway|
|Route classification:||Local (Urban) |
|Length of largest span:||65.0 ft. [19.8 m]|
|Total length:||91.9 ft. [28.0 m]|
|Main span material:||Steel |
|Main span design:||Girder and floorbeam system |
This bridge DOES carry the GT/CN Holly Subdivision over a stretch of what appears to be a four-lane highway. As a result, the center span is about thirteen feet wider than the 1940 GTW bridge over much-busier State Fair Avenue to the north.
However, Lantz is NOT a highway. Except for the portion between John R and Charleston, Lantz is a narrow, one-way-westbound RESIDENTIAL STREET. Here's how this happened:
After West and East Grand Boulevard (inspired by the "Grands Boulevards" of Paris) were completed c. 1900, Detroit city planners continued to analogize with Parisian-style traffic engineering with another good idea: OUTER DRIVE, based on the "Boulevards Outieres" of Paris. Unfortunately (for the planners), Detroit was a boom town during the first three decades of the twentieth century. Residential development and political division literally got in the way of any attempt to complete a continuous divided parkway circling the city.
Farther east, a portion of the proposed boulevard between Six Mile and Gratiot was never built - the unused right-of-way was instead incorporated into a runway at Detroit City Airport (1930). East Outer Drive never got any farther west than Dequindre Road, a longitudinal "mile road" that formed the border between two rural townships, long before this area became part of Detroit. The township closer to Woodward developed faster, so that ended that - for a while.
Evidently, a last-ditch effort was made in the late-1930s to ram the Drive to Woodward. A deserted four-lane "highway", topped by a grandiose railroad grade-separation, is all there is to show for it.
I have seen an old map that showed the "proposed Outer Drive" alignment along Lantz.