This bridge is a rare example of an unusual design of the Wrought Iron Bridge Company, mostly found only in Indiana. The design features a large lattice portal bracing, and distinctive builder plaque design. The bridge was bypassed and abandoned in 1991. While Parke County prides itself on its historic covered bridges, which are all graced with beautiful coats of paint, this bridge has been left to rust away. There is severe section loss in the lower chord connections. If the bridge is not restored it will eventually start to collapse. The bridge deserves the same commitment to preservation as the covered bridges in the county. It is in fact far older than many of the covered bridges in the county.
Information and Findings From DHPA Historic Bridge Survey
Statement of Significance
The commissioners agreed in May 1905 to advertise for the repair of two "wagon bridges," including the one across Raccoon Creek near Able Mitchells in Section 14 of Raccoon township. At the June letting, J. D. Adams & Co. secured the repair contract for $939.50. Fabricated in 1892 by the Wrought Iron Bridge Company of Canton, Ohio, this pin-connected double-intersection Pratt (Whipple) through truss stands upon its original cut stone abutments and wingwalls. The 171' span is subdivided into ten panels by intermediate verticals of laced channels. All diagonals are double and mostly rectangular eyebars; cylindrical eyebars with turnbuckles extend outward from the central pin and towards the most distant abutment from the next pin on each side. The lower chord is assembled from die-forged eyebars. The truss carries a 15'2' roadway with 15' of vertical clearance. Similar in design to Parke County #48, this structure retains its original memebers and represents a standard example of a prolific and well-known Ohio firm. Its latticed guardrails are intact. This bridge was bypassed in 1991. Not listed in M&H inventory. References Beam, Longest & Neff, Parke County Bridge Inventory Rating and Safety Inspection (Indianapolis, 1974, 1979). Farrar, Garvey & Associates, Parke County: Bridge Inspection (Indianapolis, 2002). bridge nameplate. Parke County, "Commissioners Record," 21: 401, 427.
Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: Yes
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