This eight panel Warren through truss bridge is an unusually early example of a truss bridge with bolted connections. In the years before the bridge was built, bolts were often used in the field to attach sections of beams together, with rivets being used for fabricating built-up beams and pins being used to hold connections together. During the time this bridge was built, neither pins or bolts were commonly used, since field riveting had become popular for all aspects of fastening bridges together including fabrication and erection. Bolts did not make a major return until the second half of the 20th century. Thus, this bridge is an unusual example. Indiana has several other examples of bolted connections from this early period, but in general particularly on a national level, bolted connections from the early 20th century are rare. The variance in design of the diagonal members is an unusual feature of the bridge as well.
This bridge, originally located on CR 700 South Over Big Monon Ditch in Pulaski County, Indiana as shown in the above two photos from Indiana's SHAARD database, Indiana was saved from demolition by the McCloud Nature Park which acquired the bridge (which had been dismantled in 2006) and moved it to their parklands in extreme western Hendricks County for non-motorized use in 2009/2010. The bridge was beautifully restored and placed on a substructure along with a series of modern approach spans which made up the additional length of the new crossing. The historic integrity of the truss bridge appears to have been maintained during restoration work. Original railings had already been lost, so historic style lattice railings that are both attractive and provide the needed level of safety on the bridge were installed on the truss. Modern railings were placed on the modern approach spans, which allows visitors to easily discern between those parts of the bridge which have heritage value and those that do not.
The historic truss bridge can now serve as an important centerpiece for the park. McCloud Nature Park deserves to be thanked for preserving this beautiful historic bridge, which is an important part of our transportation heritage.
Information and Findings From DHPA Historic Bridge Survey
Statement of Significance
Although the guardrails are missing, the rest of the original structure, including its latticed struts, is intact. The caisson substructure, the light verticals, and the variegated diagonals are not ordinary features of this truss type. (See Pulaski #16 for a nearly identical structure.)
Erected upon metal caissons with retaining metal plates, the 120', bolted Warren through truss separates its eight panels with light verticals of angles riveted to stay plates. Diagonals of two sizes of laced channels angle inward (lighter) and outward (heavier) from the 3rd and 5th top panel points. Angles riveted to an occasional stay plate complete the pattern of diagonals in the 2nd and 7th panels. Bolted to the gussets, I floor beams carry the decaying timber deck with its 14' roadway and 17'7" of vertical clearance.
Below: The Bridge In Previous Location
Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: Yes
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