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Underwood Ford Bridge

Orange County Bridge 49

Underwood Ford Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: July 1, 2007, April 4, 2015, and May 28, 2019

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
CR-100 (1st Street) Over French Lick Creek
French Lick: Orange County, Indiana: United States
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1904 By Builder/Contractor: Wisconsin Bridge and Iron Company of Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Main Span Length
88 Feet (26.8 Meters)
Structure Length
91 Feet (27.7 Meters)
Roadway Width
15.7 Feet (4.79 Meters)
1 Main Span(s)
NBI Number

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
View Information About HSR Ratings

Bridge Documentation

CR-100 may be also known as Gorge Street and/or First Street. The sign shows the County Road 100 at the intersection nearest this bridge however.

This is a six panel structure that has a metal grate deck. It retains original lattice railings. The portal bracing features lattice, with decorative knee bracing design. V-lacing is present on the vertical members and under the top chord and end post. The sway bracing features an unusual design that uses battens.

A detailed site visit to the bridge revealed that the bridge suffers from significant section loss and pack rust on the top chord. This bridge is in need of a restoration.

View Archived National Bridge Inventory Report - Has Additional Details and Evaluation

Information and Findings From DHPA Historic Bridge Survey

Statement of Significance

The only extant Pratt in Indiana built by this noted Wisconsin firm, the bridge retains its original members including latticed portals and guardrails and decorated portal bracing.

Architectural Description

A. N. McPheeters prepared detailed plans and specifications for the substructure and general ones for the superstructure of the bridge to be located on an apparently much-used ford between the French Lick-Leavenworth Road and the Newton Stewart-French Lick Road, just south of French Lick proper. James P. Throop of Orange County won the contract to construct the complete structure. Throop procured the bridge's superstructure from the Wisconsin Bridge and Iron Company of Milwaukee, probably built on the basis of company plans. The Wisconsin Bridge and Iron Company of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, fabricated this single-span, pin-connected Pratt through truss which is seated upon cut stone abutments and wingwalls. Intermediate verticals of laced channels subdivide the 91' truss into most of its six panels. Eyebars provide the diagonals: pairs of die-forged and rectangular ones stretch toward center span from the top panel point to the bottom of all except the endpost panels; cylindrical eyebars with turnbuckles counter the others in the most central panels. Riveted to pin and vertical plates below the lower chord, I floor-beams carry the timber deck with its 12'9" roadway and 15'6" of vertical clearance.

Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: Yes


Photo Galleries and Videos: Underwood Ford Bridge

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2007 Bridge Photo-Documentation
A collection of overview and detail photos. This photo gallery contains a combination of Original Size photos and Mobile Optimized photos in a touch-friendly popup viewer. Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer
View Photo Gallery
2015-2019 Bridge Photo-Documentation
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
View Photo Gallery
2015-2019 Bridge Photo-Documentation
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


Maps and Links: Underwood Ford Bridge

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