Swing bridges aren't particularly common. They swing open and closed to allow boat traffic to pass. The smallest one in operation anywhere in the world is in Michigan.

It's known as the Alanson Swing Bridge and carries River Street over the Inland Waterway. So where's Alanson and what's the Inland Waterday? Glad you asked.

Alanson is a village near the northern tip of the Lower Peninsula along US 31 in Emmet County just shy of 15 miles from Petoskey and 25 miles south of the Mackinac Bridge.

The small swing bridge crosses the Inland Waterway, a historic chain of lakes and small rivers that connects the waters of Lake Huron at Cheboygan to Lake Michigan at Petoskey, after a short portage.

This satellite view shows the swing bridge in a closed position.

swing bridge alanson
Google Maps

Alanson Swing Bridge in Operation

If you're a driver on River Street, you'll be in for a wait when the gates go down to allow the boats to pass. Since it's a swing bridge, as opposed to a draw bridge, you don't have any chance to do a Dukes of Hazzard style jump running up the incline of a bridge. Leap the gap and you're smack perpendicular into the swing.

[Saginaw River Marine Historical Society]

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