This bridge has an unusual detail where plate was riveted to the faces of the vertical member channels. If this is the result of a repair, it is a very old repair made when rivets were still in use. This repair may have extended the life of the bridge in the short term but it had a devastating effect on the bridge in the long term, because it provided a perfect environment for pack rust to develop along the entire length of the vertical members. The bridge's vertical members are today severely deteriorated.
Information and Findings From DHPA Historic Bridge Survey
Bridge History and Significance
The Shelby county commissioners received and continued a petition from Frank Mull and others for a bridge over the Little Blue River on the line with Rush county. In May 1921, the boards of Rush and Shelby county met and agreed to the repair of the Frank Mull bridge. At the letting in Rushville a month later, Spradling and Bennett won a $747 contract for the repair work. This single-span, pin-connected Pratt through truss is seated upon cut stone abutments and wingwalls. Intermediate verticals of laced reinforced channels subdivide the 103'6" truss into most of its seven panels. Eyebars provide the diagonals: pairs of die-forged and rectangular ones stretch toward center span from the top panel point to the bottom on the 2nd, 3rd, 5th, and 6th panels; cylindrical eyebars with turnbuckles counter the others in the 3rd and 5th panels and cross the 4th or center panel. Riveted to pin plates, I floor-beams carry the asphalt deck with its 15'9" roadway and 18'2" of vertical clearance. The bridge retains its original members, including latticed portals, portal bracing, and guardrails. References Butler, Fairman and Seufert, Inc., Bridge Inspection Report: Shelby County (Indianapolis, 1973). United Consulting Engineers, Inc., Bridge Reinspection Report For Shelby County (Indianapolis, 1978). Indiana Historic Sites and Structures Inventory, Shelby County: Interim Report (Indianapolis, 1992), 37-39. Shelby County, "Commissioners Record," L: 418; T: 257-258.
Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: Yes
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