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Carrollton Bridge

Carroll County Bridge 132

Carrollton Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: February 18, 2017

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Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Carrollton Road Over Wabash River
Rural: Carroll County, Indiana: United States
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1927 By Builder/Contractor: National Concrete Company of Indianapolis, Indiana and Engineer/Design: Daniel Luten
Rehabilitation Date
Main Span Length
94.0 Feet (28.7 Meters)
Structure Length
615.0 Feet (187.5 Meters)
Roadway Width
24 Feet (7.32 Meters)
6 Main Span(s)
Inventory Number

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
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Bridge Documentation

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This bridge is a large example of a Luten arch bridge.

Bridge was rehabilitated extensively. Project widened the bridge roadway by building longer deck cantilevers from the arches, and adding new historic-style "Texas" railing that was modified to more closely match the style of the original bridge railing. Prior to rehab, bridge was in very poor condition with widespread delamination.

Information and Findings From DHPA Historic Bridge Survey

History of Previous Bridge

The old Wabash and Erie Canal bridge was completely destroyed by a storm in July 1873. By the fall, the commissioners ordered advertisement of proposals for the replacement of the old timber structure at Carrollton with a new bridge of either timber or iron to be put on the old substructure. The board in October received "plans and specifications for the several bridges proposed to be erected in this county" and heard "the merits of each plan and kind of bridge discussed by builders and contractors." It then ordered a letting in December, at which point it awarded contracts to the Massillon Bridge Company for four structures, including the one at Carrollton, all to be "Davenport's Patent, Wrought Iron, Howe Truss Arch Bridges." The Carrollton bridge was contracted at $24.50 per lineal foot plus $2 for plans and specifications. The structure was to have "a tow path on the south side of said bridge to be five feet in the clear" and be sufficiently strong "to be used for boat teams crossing the same". There is no mention here of the kind of separate or specific tramway for guiding canal boats across the Wabash River as had been integrated with the preceding timber-truss structure at Carrollton. Detailed specifications of section and member sizes are included in the "Commissioners Record." All was to be constructed of "the best quality of wrought iron," except for the stringers and roadway of "good sound oak". John E. Barnes of Logansport received a contract in December 1873, too, for stone work on the substructure, especially on the north abutment. The masonry repair was apparently completed to the commissioners satisfaction by May 1874, at which point Barnes received $7,239.35 for his work. In September, the commissioners accepted all five Massillon Bridge structures under contract, and paid the company $13,666.50 secifically for the one at Carrollton. The iron bridge suffered from ice and other wear-and-tear over the decades. William Smith reports that the four northern spans of the iron bridge "were swept away by an ice gorge" in 1879. "The iron work was recovered and the bridge re-erected". In 1895, the south pier and the spans therein appeared in danger of collapse. Craven Smith received a $4,700 contract for masonry work. In December Smith received $4,350, indicating that the necessary repairs were less extensive than had been anticipated. In June 1919, the board received and continued a petition concerning the condition of the Carrollton Bridge. The following year the county ordered repair specifications. References Carroll County, "Commissioners Record," 8: 308-309, 315, 328, 345, 355-375, 438-439, 454, 543; 19: 137, 163; 26: 229, 503. William C. Smith, "Historical Data of the Carrollton Bridge over the Wabash Near Delphi," Souvenir Program: New Carrollton Bridge over Wabash River Near Delphi, Indiana, Dedicated September 4, 1927.

History of Current Bridge

The Carroll county council appropriated $90,000 for a bridge of reinforced concrete at Carrollton in February 1926. The commissioners voted to issue construction bonds a few months later, and the State Tax Board subsequently approved an issue of $78,000. In late July the commissioners let a construction contract to the National Concrete Company of Indianapolis to build on the plans submitted by Daniel B. Luten, "Designing and Consulting Engineer," also of Indianapolis. Construction was completed by the fall of 1927. Rings of inner spans spring from high on piers; deck extended on brackets beyond spandrel walls. For prior structures at this location, see "Carrollton Covered Bridge" and "Carrollton Iron Bridge." References Rumschlag Technical Services, Carroll County Bridge Inventory & Appraisal Report (Brownsburg, 2006).

Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: Yes

This bridge is tagged with the following special condition(s): Luten


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