HistoricBridges.org Menu: HistoricBridges.org Menu:

We Recommend These Resources:
Bach Steel - Experts at historic truss bridge restoration.

HistoricBridges.org: Bridge Browser

Meridian Street Bridge

Portland Arch

Meridian Street Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth and Rick McOmber

Bridge Documented: September 21, 2012

View Photos
and Videos
View Maps
and Links

Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Meridian Street (US-27) Over Salamonie River
Portland: Jay County, Indiana: United States
Structure Type
Concrete Rainbow Through Arch, Fixed
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1914 By Builder/Contractor: I. E. Smith of Richmond, Indiana and Engineer/Design: O. O. Clayton

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Main Span Length
110 Feet (33.5 Meters)
Structure Length
119 Feet (36.4 Meters)
Roadway Width
29 Feet (8.84 Meters)
1 Main Span(s)
NBI Number

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
View Information About HSR Ratings

Bridge Documentation

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

This bridge is historically and technologically significant as the only rainbow arch bridge in Indiana. The bridge has been rehabilitated and much of the original material was replaced, although the replacements were in-kind, maintaining the original appearance. The arch ribs remain original material.

Information and Findings From DHPA Historic Bridge Survey

Statement of Significance

Reinforced concrete through arches were frequently built in other parts of the country in the early decades of the twentieth century, and extant ones have often been listed on the National Register. Here is the only example extant in Indiana. Designed by a local engineer and built by a regionally-known contractor, the Meridian Street Bridge remains - as intended - a monument of statewide note to Portland's vigor. The bridge retains its architectural and structural integrity, including some of its electric light standards.

Architectural Description

The South Meridian Street Bridge knit Portland and South Portland together. A wrought iron bowstring through arch (possibly of Wrought Iron Bridge Company design) spanned the Salamonie here since about the 1870s. Around 1013 Portland's city leaders included a new concrete bridge in their civic improvement efforts which included a number of sewer lines, electric street lights in the city center, and brick paving and sidewalks for Meridian Street. Jay County was also planning the construction of a new Court House. O.O. Clayton, the city civil engineer who prepared a design for the proposed new bridge, planned a monument which kept the Salamonie River waterway as unobstructed as possible in an effort to limit the damage and inconvenience caused by frequent flooding. Clayton and the city's elected officials lobbied the county commissioners who on 2 December 1913 agreed to "build a better and neater bridge than they would in the country" but who insisted that the city pay for the sidewalks on a new bridge. Clayton met with the commissioners again to convince theme that the new bridge out to be of concrete and to approved a plan of his own design. Although challenged by Daniel Luten with the lowest bid at $9,840 - probably for a filled-spandrel concrete arch - the commissioners honored "the Clayton plan" and awarded the contract to I.E. Smith of Richmond for $10,240.

The new reinforced concrete through arches are as high as those of the old metal bowstring and the waterway clearance is great. The arches span 112' and carry a 30' roadway with 6' sidewalks built outside the arches.

Other Information

112 foot span; only concrete thru and tied arch in Indiana

Bridge plate text: "Meridian Street Bridge / Built: 1914 / Designed by: O.O. Clayton / Contractor: I.E. Smith / Reconstructed: 1997 / Engineer: Butler Fairman & Seuffert, Inc. / Contractor: Gohmann Asphalt & Construction, Inc. / Design Loading: HS20-44"

Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: Yes


Photo Galleries and Videos: Meridian Street Bridge

View Photo Gallery
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
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: Meridian Street Bridge

Coordinates (Latitude, Longitude):

View Bridge Location In:

Bridgehunter.com: View listed bridges within a half mile of this bridge.

Bridgehunter.com: View listed bridges within 10 miles of this bridge.

Google Maps

Google Streetview (If Available)

Bing Maps


Apple Maps (Via DuckDuckGo Search)

Apple Maps (Apple devices only)


HERE We Go Maps

ACME Mapper

Waze Map

Android: Open Location In Your Map or GPS App

Flickr Gallery (Find Nearby Photos)

Wikimedia Commons (Find Nearby Photos)

Directions Via Sygic For Android

Directions Via Sygic For iOS and Android Dolphin Browser

USGS National Map (United States Only)

Historical USGS Topo Maps (United States Only)

CalTopo Maps (United States Only)

Home Top


About - Contact

© Copyright 2003-2021, HistoricBridges.org. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer: HistoricBridges.org is a volunteer group of private citizens. HistoricBridges.org is NOT a government agency, does not represent or work with any governmental agencies, nor is it in any way associated with any government agency or any non-profit organization. While we strive for accuracy in our factual content, HistoricBridges.org offers no guarantee of accuracy. Information is provided "as is" without warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied. Information could include technical inaccuracies or errors of omission. Opinions and commentary are the opinions of the respective HistoricBridges.org member who made them and do not necessarily represent the views of anyone else, including any outside photographers whose images may appear on the page in which the commentary appears. HistoricBridges.org does not bear any responsibility for any consequences resulting from the use of this or any other HistoricBridges.org information. Owners and users of bridges have the responsibility of correctly following all applicable laws, rules, and regulations, regardless of any HistoricBridges.org information.

Admin Login