This bridge is a traditionally composed example of a 1910s riveted through truss bridge for use in a rural location. The bridge has details such as riveted built-up beams with v-lacing and a-frame portal bracing. This bridge has an unusual construction history. Construction was first planned in 1916. First, the county had rejected a low bid for a Lutent patent concrete arch bridge. While this is merely speculation, the reason for this rejection may have been due to the complicated story that played out at the Pugh Ford Bridge in the same county a few years prior. However, their decision to hire Caldwell and Drake Iron Works of Columbus, Indiana to built a metal truss bridge did not work out very well either, since that company apparently was not getting the work done on time. As such, they hired Herman S. Fox of Brookville, Ohio to complete the bridge. The Historic Bridge Inventory research on this bridge suggested that Herman Fox had the Brookville Bridge Company complete the truss bridge, but using the plans created by Caldwell and Drake Iron Works.
Information and Findings From DHPA Historic Bridge Survey
Statement of Significance
Riveted Pratt through spans are not plentiful in Indiana, although Bartholomew County retains a number. The placement of the floor beams is also noteworthy. This heavy-duty bridge has its original members, including latticed guardrails.
Seated upon concrete abutments and wingwalls, this single-span, riveted Pratt through structure extends 128' in eight panels. Two pairs of laced angles provide all the verticals, and a pair of heavy angles riveted together with battens supply the diagonals and counters. The sets of diagonals are countered in the two most central panels. The I floor beams are riveted to the verticals above the lower chord. The bridge carries a concrete deck with a 16'1" roadway and 15' of vertical clearance.
Whether there was a predecessor to the Galbraith Bridge surveyed here remains unclear. However, the commissioners did contract in September 1895 to paint a bridge over Clifty north of Hartsville for $80. Surveyed Structure: When bids were received for the construction of the Galbraith Bridge over Clifty in Haw Creek township in July 1916, Noblett & Kaufman brought in the lowest proposal at $6,400 to build a Luten-design concrete-arch structure. "The commissioners said they did not want a concrete bridge at that place and so let it to a higher bidder who proposed to erect a steel bridge." Roger Lortz, who proposed to build to Caldwell & Drake Iron Works of Columbus design at $6,740, won the construction contract. Construction did not proceed as planned, although Lortz received a number of payments from the county in 1916 and into early 1917: $200 in September, $1,000 in October, $750 in November 1916; $150 in May 1917. In August 1917, the commissioners met with two of Lortz's bondsmen to discuss "why said Galbraith Bridge has not been completed." The board listened to the bondsmen's "excuses" and then demanded "that the said abutments be completed within ten days and that the said bridge as a whole be completed by the first of November 1917." The county did pay Caldwell & Drake $500 on the Galbraith Bridge in December 1917. The commissioners advertised in May 1919 a letting "for the completion of a steel bridge with a concrete floor in Hawcreek township to be known for completion purposes as the Galbraith Bridge" about 1.5 miles northeast of Hartsville. The board received two bids in early June and accepted the lowest, that made by Herman S. Fox of Brookville, Ohio, for $5,674. Fox received a number of payments from the county for the bridge: $3,200 in December, $800 in January 1920, $500 in May. Ed Stewart received payment in October ($374.40) and December 1920 ($334.60) for the "Galbraith Bridge approach" and "fill." The superstructure appears to have been built to Caldwell & Drake plans and was probably fabricated by the Brookville Bridge Company. Two pairs of laced angles provide all the verticals for the trusses, and a pair of heavy angles riveted together with battens supply the diagonals and counters. The sets of diagonals are countered in the two most central panels. The bridge maintains 15 feet of vehicular clearance above the roadway. The I floor-beams are riveted to the verticals above the lower chord. The bridge carries a concrete roadway.
Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: Yes
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