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Jefferson Boulevard Bridge

St. Joseph County Bridge 209

Jefferson Boulevard Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: October 1, 2006

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Jefferson Boulevard Over St. Joseph River
South Bend: St. Joseph County, Indiana: United States
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1905 By Builder/Contractor: Scribner and Heyworth of Chicago, Illinois and Engineer/Design: A. J. Hammond

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Main Span Length
110 Feet (34 Meters)
Structure Length
490 Feet (149 Meters)
Roadway Width
51.8 Feet (15.79 Meters)
4 Main Span(s)
NBI Number

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)

Bridge Documentation

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

View A Detailed Historical Article About This Bridge

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.

Architectural Description

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.

Offset by 20 degrees, each of the rings is elliptical and spans 110'. Solid spandrel walls retain the earth fill and support the replacement concrete-slab deck which overhangs the rings. The deck carries a 51' asphalt roadway between sidewalks and metal rails. Both the original rail and the pier decoration were neoclassical. The balustrade has been replaced.

Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: Yes, Outstanding


Photo Galleries and Videos: Jefferson Boulevard Bridge

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