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Bridge Street Bridge

Elkhart County Bridge 387

Bridge Street Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: Fall 2005 and Spring 2012

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Bridge Street Over St. Joseph River
Elkhart: Elkhart County, Indiana: United States
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1939 By Builder/Contractor: H. L. Maddocks Company

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Main Span Length
117 Feet (36 Meters)
Structure Length
274 Feet (84 Meters)
Roadway Width
39.4 Feet (12.01 Meters)
3 Main Span(s)
NBI Number

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
View Information About HSR Ratings

Bridge Documentation

View Archived National Bridge Inventory Report - Has Additional Details and Evaluation

This is an unusual bridge as it is a curved t-beam bridge. The arches feature decorative treatment as do the piers on the bridge which extend above the guardrails of the bridge. With the large concrete piers and the shallow arch at the central span, it is not hard to imagine that if a double-leaf plate girder bascule bridge were magically turned to concrete, this is what it might look like!

This bridge was built in 1939. The contractor for the bridge was H. L. Maddocks Co. The bridge was built through Depression relief programs which increases the bridge's historic significance.

Information and Findings From DHPA Historic Bridge Survey

Statement of Significance

This is one of the earliest and widest continuous reinforced concrete T-beam structures built in Indiana, and it carries the longest span of its kind constructed before the Second World War. A prolific regional Hoosier engineer designed and decorated it for an urban setting. The bridge retains its architectural and structural integrity.

Architectural Description

As Indiana was recovering from the worst of the Greet Depression just before the Second World War, its counties began to resume some bridge-building, here with the assistance of the Public Works Administration of the Federal Works Agency. In a couple of cases, local officals agreed for the first time to plans for crossing major waterways with continuous reinforced concrete T-beams because of their advertised economy. By constructing the beams of multiple spans as a unit, the beams in one span get help carrying a load from their extension over others, allowing for shallower beams and slimmer piers. To carry the tension generated in the flanges of continuous beams over piers, designers typically add reinforcing steel towards the top of the beams.

William S. Moore designed and the H.L. Maddocks Company built this 272'3" structure of three spans (a central one at 123'). The spans consist of six beams spaced about 5' apart and braced periodically. The stems of the inner beams are 30" wide and 3' deep at midspan and 6' over the pier; the outer ones are 3' wide. The beams are anchored at the pier and sit on metal rollers at the abutments. Extended 3' beyond the stem, the flange of the outer beams support the concrete sidewalks and coped and balustraded parapet rails which flank the 40' roadway. The visible side of the outer beams and the piers are decorated in the style of Art Deco.

Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: Yes


Photo Galleries and Videos: Bridge Street Bridge

View Photo Gallery
2012 Bridge Photo-Documentation
Original / Full Size Photos
A collection of overview and detail photos taken after the bridge was rehabilitated in 2009. This gallery offers photos in the highest available resolution and file size in a touch-friendly popup viewer. Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer
View Photo Gallery
2012 Bridge Photo-Documentation
Mobile Optimized Photos
A collection of overview and detail photos taken after the bridge was rehabilitated in 2009. This gallery features data-friendly, fast-loading photos in a touch-friendly popup viewer. Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer
View Photo Gallery
Pre-Rehab Bridge Photo-Documentation
A collection of overview and detail photos taken before the bridge rehabilitation in 2009. This photo gallery contains a combination of Original Size photos and Mobile Optimized photos in a touch-friendly popup viewer. Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer


Maps and Links: Bridge Street Bridge

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