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Nappanee Street Bridge

Elkhart County Bridge 376

Nappanee Street Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: March 4, 2012 and April 8, 2012

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Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Nappanee Street (IN-19) Over St. Joseph River
Location
Elkhart: Elkhart County, Indiana: United States
Structure Type
Concrete Curved T-Beam, Fixed
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1966 By Builder/Contractor: Unknown
Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
101.4 Feet (30.9 Meters)
Structure Length
453.0 Feet (138.1 Meters)
Roadway Width
54 Feet (16.46 Meters)
Spans
5 Main Span(s)
Inventory Number
5165

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
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Bridge Documentation

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

This bridge is an attractive example and large example of a curved t-beam. Its curved beams offer a simple, but graceful aesthetic. Special decorative posts mounted on the piers beside the bearings obscure the view of the metal bearings for aesthetic purposes. The original railings on the bridge are an attractive balustrade design with attractive stylized wing-like shapes at the ends.

This bridge is to be rehabilitated. It is outstanding that preservation has been chosen for this bridge, rather than likely more costly demolition and replacement. However, in the interest of inspiring improvement in future preservation projects, a critical commentary on one aspect of the rehabilitation is needed. The one disappointment in the project is that the railings are to be removed and replaced. The replacement railings will be a standard design (sometimes called Texas rail) that just happens to be somewhat similar in a general sense to this original railing, however it is not the same and the similarities are merely coincidence. The design is a standard that began in Texas and is now used in many states as a quick way to make railings on both new and old bridges "look historic." This railing is a fine solution in some cases, such as where the original railings on a historic bridge are already lost and the original railing design plans are not available. However, on this bridge, where the original railings remain, it would have been nicer to see the original railing either left in place (it appeared to be in good condition with no major spalling) or replicated. If the original railings were left in place, vehicular railing could have been added between the sidewalk and roadway to meet current collision safety needs. If replicated, minor changes to the design to increase the reinforcing and perhaps the railing height could have been made to meet current safety codes, while still retaining the original shape and appearance of the original railing. Both above described techniques have been employed elsewhere successfully in preservation work. In Michigan, the Mitchell Street Bridge will have its original railings removed and replaced. The replacement railings have been designed as exact replicas with one exception that the concrete on the bottom has been designed as taller. This increases the height of the railing so it meets current safety code, but the dimensions and appearance of the balustrade part of the railing will be identical to the original railing. Such a solution may require more engineering effort, however that is what engineers are paid to do. It comes accross as lazy to simply use a standard design rather than taking the time to design a railing solution that best suits the historic bridge.

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Photo Galleries and Videos: Nappanee Street Bridge

 

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Maps and Links: Nappanee Street Bridge

Coordinates (Latitude, Longitude):

Search For Additional Bridge Listings:

Bridgehunter.com: View listed bridges within 0.5 miles (0.8 kilometers) of this bridge.

Bridgehunter.com: View listed bridges within 10 miles (16 kilometers) of this bridge.

HistoricBridges.org Bridge Browser: View listed bridges within 0.5 miles (0.8 kilometers) of this bridge.

HistoricBridges.org Bridge Browser: View listed bridges within 10 miles (16 kilometers) of this bridge.

2021 National Bridge Inventory: View listed bridges within 0.5 miles (0.8 kilometers) of this bridge.

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