This is one of the oldest and most attractive bridges in the South Bend, Mishawaka, and Elkhart region. It was built in 1905 and is noteworthy for its use of a Melan type of reinforcing which uses solid steel arch ribs inside the concrete instead of rebar. The bridge has substantial architectural embellishment, particularly at the pier points, where cylindrical pillars are present.
This bridge was rehabilitated in 2004. These repairs seem to include re-facing the surface of the arches with modern concrete. The original historic design and architectural elements of the original bridge appear to have been retained however, allowing the bridge to continue to have a good level of historic significance.
Information and Findings From DHPA Historic Bridge Survey
Statement of Significance
The bridge is noteworthy on a number of accounts. It is quite old, heavy, long, and skewed. Its Melan system of reinforcing is well-documented and increasingly rare. The replacement deck has reduced without destroying all of the bridge's architectural integrity.
Alanzo J. Hammond, South Bend City Engineer,
designed this 490', four-span reinforced and filled concrete arch to
handle a two-track interurban line as well as vehicular and pedestrian
traffic. Scribner and Heyworth of Chicago won the contract to build the
bridge for $119,000 and $6,600 for $20,000 feet of piling. The Wisconsin
Bridge and Iron Company of Milwaukee fabricated the Melan system of
reinforcing. Hammond had the steel trusses from the old bridge moved to
Spring Brook park for $7,000.
Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: Yes, Outstanding
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