Grand Haven Bascule Bridge

One of Michigan’s Largest Bridges

Over the Grand River

Bridge operations, boat traffic and opening schedule.

About the Bridge

The Grand Haven Bascule Bridge is the only bridge that spans the navigate waterway of the Grand River for nearly 16 miles. This is unlike most draw bridges in Michigan. – MDOT

Boaters request an opening of the bridge by hailing the operator on a marine radio on Channel 16. Operators dial down to Channel 14 to converse with the boaters.

The Grand Haven Bascule Bridge operates from March 15 through December 15 each year.

Boat Traffic

Commercial Boat Traffic – Upon proper notification the bridge will open to all boat traffic.

Recreational Boat Traffic – The bridge opens once an hour on the half hour from 6:30am – 8:30pm when a recreational vessel or pleasure craft is present to pass under the bridge, according to the schedule below.

History & Facts

The Grand Haven Bascule Bridge holds years of history and interesting facts.


  • The bridge was built in 1958 replacing a wooden swing bridge.
  • A $3.5 million bike path was erected on the East span of the drawbridge in 2001. Rebalancing the bridge was a very large task and took careful consideration.
  • You can learn more history about the bridge in the Loutit Library archives.


  • The bridge structure is 692.6 feet or 211.1 meters long and 78.7 feet or 24 meters wide.
  • The Grand Haven Bridge is host to 6 lanes of traffic & about 62,000 vehicles daily.
  • A large counterweight is used to offset the weight of the raised leaf
  • The bridge operator rarely hears boat horns on the west side because 6 lanes of fast traffic usually drowns out the horns.
  • Bascule is from the French word meaning, ‘see-saw.’

Did you know you can see a view from the bridge on camera?