This five panel half-hip Pratt pony truss bridge was built in 1909 and is a rare surviving example of a bridge with a documented association with local bridge builder Elkhart Bridge and Iron Company. This is not the bridge's original location; it was moved here long ago from a different location.
The bridge appears to retain excellent historic integrity. Being located in northern Indiana where there are very few remaining metal truss bridges, this bridge is especially significant on a local/regional basis.
One of the most interesting things on this bridge is the outline image of Indiana with State Road 25 written inside. Labeling a state highway on a truss bridge like this is unusual and looks old fashioned. The paint job on this bridge must not be very recent as such! Anyway, this is very interesting because this would suggest that this bridge was originally a IN-25 state highway bridge. In a 1923 official state highway map, IN-25 is shown following the approximate route of what is today I-80/I-90 (Indiana Tollway). By 1932, IN-25 had moved and now signed its current route according to a 1932 state highway map. That current routing of IN-25 ends in Warsaw at an intersection with IN-15. IN-15 goes north from Warsaw into Goshen. The only way IN-25 would appear to have been associated with Goshen is if at some point this section of IN-15 was a part of IN-25. Either way, it is unlikely that a state highway of any name crossed over the Millrace Canal onto the little island formed by the river and the canal. As such, this bridge would appear to have been relocated. The big question is what the original location was, assuming all this is correct.
Jim Cooper later did some more extensive research than HistoricBridges.org, and he produced a detailed narrative. Please be sure to view this narrative to get a more clear and less hypothetical discussion of this bridge's history.
The bridge has not been restored, and it needs to be. There is section loss and pack rust in the connections, and some section loss at the base of the endposts. The deck is deteriorated too, largely due to an old asphalt overlay which may have trapped moisture in the original concrete deck below. Plants growing out of the deck signify deterioration and softening of the concrete. The bridge remains safe for the non-motorized traffic it carries, but the sooner a restoration is planned for this bridge the easier it will be to restore the bridge. Given the relative rarity of truss bridges in northern Indiana, this is a significant historic bridge, and in addition it is an important functional link that provides local residents who all live east of the canal, access to the popular Millrace Canal Trail that runs along the west side of the canal.
Since this bridge was first documented by HistoricBridges.org, the bridge has been repaired. The deck was replaced with a new wooden deck. Two angles were added as supplemental railing to the bridge, one above and one below the existing hub guard railing. The bridge was also spot painted. Unfortunately, the spot painters painted over the IN-25 symbol on the bridge and they did not paint a new IN-25 symbol on it. Someone should paint that symbol back on the endpost since it helps reveal to visitors the rich history this bridge has.
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