This rare relocated bowstring truss span is the shortest known iron bowstring span in America! This is one span of a bridge that was originally located in Washington County, Indiana, crossing the Blue River on Martinsburg Road (38.49812, -86.03678). It is a product of the King Bridge Company, using their rolled i-beam design of bowstring bridge.
The through truss span was placed into storage for possible reuse, while the bowstring span was taken by a private owner who restored and erected it on their property. Reportedly, the span was in terrible condition prior to the move, with the trusses tipping over. Today the bridge is in good condition with a fresh coat of paint and a new deck. The bridge is visible from the nearby public road, but please respect the privacy of the owners who spent a lot of money to preserve this historic bridge and note that the bridge itself is private property.
Below is a photo of the original bridge. The bowstring span is barely visible to the right in the photo.
Information and Findings From DHPA Historic Bridge Survey
Statement of Significance
Original Location: This structure consisted of a one-span, pin-connected Pratt through, a bowstring arch pony, and an I beam approach. The superstructure was seated upon cut stone wingwalls and metal caisson piers. Intermediate verticals of laced channels subdivided the 94'9" through span into most of its seven panels. Eyebars provided the diagonals: pairs stretch toward center span from the top panel point to the bottom of all except the center and endposts panels; cylindrical eyebars with turnbuckles countered the others in the 3rd and 5th panels and pairs cross the 4th or center panel. U-bolted to the lower pins, I floor-beams carried the timber deck and roadway for both spans with 15'10" of vertical clearance for the through. The top chord of the two-panel, 26' bowstring pony is made from two pieces of curved I beam bolted together at the center. The single vertical consists of latticed Ts to which the lower chord, floor beam, and cylindrical diagonals are bolted. Listed as an "historic bridge" by the county's consulting engineer, this structure appears to retain its original members. Except for the latticed portals and their bracing on the through, the bridge is unadorned.
References Warren T. Hobson & Associates, Bridge Inspection Report: Washington County (Indianapolis, 1974, 1979).
Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: Yes
The bridge is visible from the nearby public road, but please respect the privacy of the owners who spent a lot of money to preserve this historic bridge and note that the bridge itself is private property.
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