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Broyles Road Bridge

Old US-36 Bridge

Broyles Road Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth and Rick McOmber

Bridge Documented: September 23, 2012

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Broyles Road (Converted To Pedestrian Trail) Over White Lick Creek
Avon: Hendricks County, Indiana: United States
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1875 By Builder/Contractor: Columbia Bridge Works of Dayton, Ohio

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
Not Available
Structure Length
Not Available
Roadway Width
Not Available
1 Main Span(s)
NBI Number
Not Applicable

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
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Bridge Documentation

This bridge is the oldest known Whipple truss in Indiana. Additionally, this bridge is one of the oldest known surviving examples of a bridge built by the Columbia Bridge Works. The Columbia Bridge Works is a noteworthy company because its bridges display so many unusual details dissimilar to typical bridges of the period. Typical of Columbia Bridge Works bridges, this bridge is distinguished by truss members that are much more simple and plain in appearance, while the connection details for the bridge differ from standard practices followed by other period bridge companies and are quite complex in design. As an extremely old example of the company's work, and having been built during a period where all bridge companies tended to experiment more with unusual details, this bridge has some unusual details even among Columbia Bridge Works bridges. In particular, the ornate cast iron portal bracing, which only survives intact at one end of the bridge, is a noteworthy detail. This portal bracing has an unusual adjustable tension rod that runs behind the portal bracing. The hip verticals for this bridge are actually a chain of eyebars, rather than a single eyebar. The overhead bracing system also includes unusual rods that run parallel to the top chord through the middle of the sway bracing beams, except at the end panels where the rod splits into two rods and ties into the portal bracing.

This bridge is highly significant for its unusual details and its age. Another area of significance, which is quite impressive for a bridge of its age, is that there are no noteworthy alterations to the truss's original design and materials, aside from the loss of the original portal bracing at one end. This bridge remains in its original location, although the road is today used only by pedestrians as a trail, which is a perfect use for this historic bridge.


Photo Galleries and Videos: Broyles Road Bridge

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