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Nickelsen Creek Private Bridge 1

Nickelsen Creek Private Bridge 1

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth and Rick McOmber

Bridge Documented: September 21, 2012

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Private Drive Over Nickelsen Creek
Rural: Adams County, Indiana: United States
Structure Type
Metal Bedstead Deck Girder, Fixed and Approach Spans: Metal 3 Panel Pin-Connected Pratt Half-Hip Pony Truss, Fixed
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
By Builder/Contractor: Indiana Bridge Company of Muncie, Indiana

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
32 Feet (9.8 Meters)
Structure Length
40 Feet (12.2 Meters)
Roadway Width
Not Available
1 Main Span(s)
NBI Number
Not Applicable

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
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Bridge Documentation

Note: The truss portion of this bridge has been listed as an approach span. This bridge is so unusual the HistoricBridges.org database was unable to classify the bridge any other way, since it is essentially two different bridge types merged into a single span. Length given is an extremely rough estimate.

This bridge serves a private driveway, but is located right next to a public road. At first glance this looks like a noteworthy pin-connected pony truss. Although they have been broken off, the tops of the end posts once held little plaques that would have credited the Canton Bridge Company of Canton, Ohio with building the trusses. These plaques would have doubled as splice plates between the top chord and end post cover plates. These trusses are significant as examples of bridges built by this noteworthy bridge company. However, these trusses are in reality not the actual bridge. Looking under the bridge, the true bridge is discovered. Less attractive, but far more rare and historically significant, the actual bridge is the last known original surviving example of a patent plate leg girder bridge which was a design built by the Indiana Bridge Company of Muncie, Indiana. The trusses have been welded on to the sides of these girders, perhaps for decoration and to function as railings. The girder bridge is extremely rare and significant as a last survivor of an in-state bridge builder's unusual patented bridge design.

Information and Findings From DHPA Historic Bridge Survey (FOR ANOTHER SIMILAR, NOW-DEMOLISHED BRIDGE)

Statement of Significance

A prolific Hoosier firm patented the design or pattern for this bridge. The oldest "plate leg" girder in the state--and one of the earliest fabricated--retains its original members. The Indiana Historical Society Library has drawings which the company may have used to fabricate this bridge.

Architectural Description

The Indiana Bridge Company of Muncie patented its "plate leg" girder in 1886. This example is now seated behind concrete abutments and wingwalls. The single-span girder extends 45' in three panels. The center panel consists of a rectangular plate about 2' high; the outer panel is flared (or about double its height) toward/at the abutment. The flange ends are square and not reinforced with cover plates. Bolted to the plates near the ends of the center panel plate, two I floor beams support the asphalt-over-timber deck with its 15'3" roadway.


Photo Galleries and Videos: Nickelsen Creek Private Bridge 1

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Maps and Links: Nickelsen Creek Private Bridge 1

This bridge is on a private drive.

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