This bridge has a number of unusual details. Although it is located in the middle of nowhere crossing a small, unremarkable river, the bridge has a plaque on the portal bracing proudly proclaiming it the "Black River Bridge." Bridges of this age rarely would have a title or name plaque. Plaques usually only had the bridge builder and county commissioners listed; on this bridge that information is relegated to less-visible plaques mounted on the end posts. It is not known why this bridge's name is so prominently noted.
The bridge also has some unusual structural details. The bridge is in general a Camelback truss (which is a five-sloped Parker truss) except for the center panel which is subdivided like a Pennsylvania truss. The remaining panels are not subdivided however so its more a Camelback than Pennsylvania. The other unusual detail is the sway bracing. Its composition is unusual and somewhat elaborate for a bridge of this size, with built-up beams forming the struts, with v-lacing on the top and bottom, and diagonal members that include turnbuckles.
The bridge also includes a through plate girder approach span at each end. The girders do not play a structural role anymore because stringers and wooden bents were added to carry the load. This is why the National Bridge Inventory lists the approach spans as four steel stringer spans.
Information and Findings From DHPA Historic Bridge Survey
Statement of Significance
The only known Camelback built by this prolific Ohio firm, the Black River Bridge is the oldest extant structure of this truss type in Indiana and appears to retain its original members. The small number of central panels and the treatment of them are most unusual. The pierced nameplate and the latticed portal illustrate the builder's attention to artistic detail on structural and non-structural elements of the bridge. bridge nameplate. Legeay, Inc., Bridge Inspection Report: Posey County (Evansville, 1974). Posey County Interim Report: Indiana Historic Sites and Structures Inventory (Indianapolis, 1985), 4-5.
This three-span structure rests upon the original metal caisson piers and abutments which the Toledo Bridge Company designated. The plate girder approach spans are each reinforced with a timber support under the most central floor beam. The timber deck carries a 16'8" roadway. A pin-connected Camelback through truss of 168' spans the river. Verticals of latticed channels form ten panels. Rods with turnbuckles intersect the two central panels and a laced double angle horizontal stabilizer is inserted midway between the chords. The next three panels on each side of the center section use double die-forged rectangular eyebars as diagonals from the outer top pin to the next lower and more central one. The endpost panel is reinforced with a special diagonal of laced double angles. The original rectangular girder floor-beams remain to support a deck allowing 19'3" of vertical clearance.
Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: Yes
Original / Full Size Photos
|A collection of overview and detail photos. This gallery offers photos in the highest available resolution and file size in a touch-friendly popup viewer. Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer|
Mobile Optimized Photos
|A collection of overview and detail photos. This gallery features data-friendly, fast-loading photos in a touch-friendly popup viewer. Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer|
Coordinates (Latitude, Longitude):
View Bridge Location In:
© Copyright 2003-2021, HistoricBridges.org. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer: HistoricBridges.org is a volunteer group of private citizens. HistoricBridges.org is NOT a government agency, does not represent or work with any governmental agencies, nor is it in any way associated with any government agency or any non-profit organization. While we strive for accuracy in our factual content, HistoricBridges.org offers no guarantee of accuracy. Information is provided "as is" without warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied. Information could include technical inaccuracies or errors of omission. Opinions and commentary are the opinions of the respective HistoricBridges.org member who made them and do not necessarily represent the views of anyone else, including any outside photographers whose images may appear on the page in which the commentary appears. HistoricBridges.org does not bear any responsibility for any consequences resulting from the use of this or any other HistoricBridges.org information. Owners and users of bridges have the responsibility of correctly following all applicable laws, rules, and regulations, regardless of any HistoricBridges.org information.