This extremely rare and highly unusual bridge is the only one of its kind in Indiana. Although it looks somewhat like a cantilever truss bridge, engineer Jim Barker, who designed the 2022 rehabilitation of the bridge, indicates that the bridge functions as a suspension bridge, despite the fact that it does not have a curved main cable design. The bridge is configured with unloaded backstays. This section of the bridge is supported by steel bents. The DHPA states that these bents are added, but if they are added, they are very old (they are riveted) and it is not clear what would have supported this deck if those bents were ever not in place. It certainly was not the anchor arm, there is no way it could have connected to support the deck.
Jim Barker also added that this bridge's design is similar to a long-lost bridge in Pittsburgh, the Point Bridge.
There are outriggers that appear to have been added to the bridge. There also are other welded alterations including some rather unusual ones on the towers suggesting a whole section of the tower was replaced. Otherwise, this bridge retains good historic integrity including original railings.
As stated above, in 2022 this bridge had a major rehabilitation, so it has a bright future.
Information and Findings From DHPA Historic Bridge Survey
Statement of Significance
Built by a prolific Hoosier firm, this local landmark has linked the eastside residential area with downtown Plymouth for more than eight decades. The 1898 decision to restrict this crossing to pedestrians must have reinforced the residential character of the immediate neighborhood.
The structure's design is both simple and unique in Indiana. The bridge appears to retain its original members, including its latticed guardrails. The whole has been reinforced by a series of piers.
A petition in the summer of 1898 from local residents to replace the bridge at this site led the Plymouth Common Council to an unusual decision: to erect a through truss for vehicular traffic at Taylor (Garro) St. and build a pedestrian crossing at E. LaPorte Street. W. B. Bassett, agent for the Rochester Bridge Company of Rochester, Indiana, secured the contract for the two bridges which were subsequently constructed at the same time and completed by December 1898.
The 100' structure consists of two approximately 20' high verticals fabricated from pairs of laced angles embedded in caissons. Angles set inward at 45 degrees to the tower-verticals are bolted from the tower top to the lower chord; they are counterbalanced by pinned, adjustable cylindrical eyebars also set at 45 degrees and which extend outward to where the lower chord and the concrete abutments meet; and thus the whole consists of two cantilevered kingpost spans joined through an extension of their I-beam lower chords. The inner panel of the longest kingpost has been subdivided to make the top chord more rigid. Designers added a diagonal from the bottom of the pier-tower to the middle of the top chord and an adjoining vertical of a pair of angles. The lower chord supports a 6' timber deck.
Extra I beams set in concrete have been added as piers at several points.
The bridge has been reinforced by a series of piers.
Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: Yes
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