Now open only to pedestrian traffic, the 125' Ada Covered Bridge (a.k.a. Bradfield Bridge) spans the Thornapple River at the town's public park.
An act of the legislature in 1867 authorized
the Ada Township to borrow up to $3000 for the purpose of building or repairing bridges in
the township. This bridge was built about that time, apparently by William Holmes.
The design for the trusses was patented by Josiah Brown of Buffalo, New York in 1857. A timber bearing his name was uncovered during repair work.
The bridge has been threatened by floods a
number of times. It is said that farmers used to drive wagons loaded with stones
onto the bridge during high water to hold it to the foundation. The bridge was
closed to automobile traffic in 1930 and restored by the Kent County Road Commission in
When heavy snows collapsed the roof in 1979, the people of Ada mounted an all-out effort to raise funds to restore the bridge. Shortly after the repairs were finished, however, the bridge was completely destroyed by fire. Not to be disheartened, the citizens, with the help of nearby Amway Corporation, once again rallied to the aid of their beloved bridge. The structure standing today is a testament to their perseverance.