This beautiful stone faced concrete bridge with rare Melan reinforcing once formed the centerpiece to a park area. It is noted for its wide sidewalks (overall deck width is 72.5 feet) and its stairways (mostly overgrown and abandoned) that led down to the riverbank.
This bridge should have been preserved, as a Select bridge under the Indiana Historic Bridge Management Plan. However instead, demolition and replacement is the fate of this bridge, with salvage and reuse of non-structural decorative stones. The character-defining feature that gives the bridge its historical significance will be destroyed (nor will it be replicated in modern materials). That is the use of solid steel reinforcing called Melan reinforcing. It is disappointing that Indianapolis is repeatedly allowed to alter "Select" bridges in this manner. The bridge management plan was supposed to preserve historic bridges not build modern copies... and this won't even be a copy as modern rebar will be used.
On a side note, it was shocking how many sections of railing had been broken, presumably by traffic accidents. This was particularly odd given that this bridge has massive sidewalks that are perhaps twice as wide as even modern day sidewalks. If they were destroyed by accidents, people must drive like maniacs in this area!
It appears this bridge was listed as a contributing structure to a Historic District. It must not have been listed individually as a Melan arch. This appears to be how the city got around the loss of the Melan arch design. Bridges that are listed as contributing to a historic district, rather than individually listed under Criterion C (Engineering) can lose their engineering significance as long as they retain their aesthetic qualities. In truth the bridge should be individually eligible under Criterion C for its Melan arch construction.
This bridge is tagged with the following special condition(s): Melan
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