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Perrin Bridge

Parke County Bridge 34

Perrin Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: May 26, 2019

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
CR-400 South Over Sunderland Branch (Little Raccoon Creek)
Rural: Parke County, Indiana: United States
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1921 By Builder/Contractor: W. J. Nowling

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
40 Feet (12.2 Meters)
Structure Length
45 Feet (13.7 Meters)
Roadway Width
15.7 Feet (4.79 Meters)
1 Main Span(s)
NBI Number

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
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Bridge Documentation

This is one of several rare examples of curved chord through girders found only in Parke County, and no other county in Indiana. The bridge may date to ca. 1920.


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

Information and Findings From DHPA Historic Bridge Survey

Bridge History and Significance

Having proposed the lowest bid for building the Perrin Bridge in September 1921 to the county's plans and specifications, W. J. Nowling secured a $3,294.35 construction contract from the commissioners. John Perrin was named as superintendent of construction. A concrete through girder has a pair of large beams which flank the roadway and whose reinforcing rods are interlocked with those of the slab deck. Because of its greater rigidity, the through girder can be extended beyond the T-beam's span length. In most cases, though, it has been preferred over the the T-beam only when waterway clearance is a particular issue. The tops of the girders of this structure are arched about 2-feet at center. The girders are about 3-feet high at the ends. The whole rests upon concrete abutments flanked by flared wingwalls. Parke County has the only arched girders extant in Indiana. The arch was probably introduced to provide unusual girder depth at center for this extraordinarily long span and to eliminate redundant material at the ends. In addition, only a minority of concrete through girders use a slab rather than floor-beams to support the roadway. The girders are also decorated. References Beam, Longest & Neff, Inc., Bridge Inventory Rating and Safety Inspection: Parke County (Indianapolis, 1974, 1979). Congdon Engineering Associates, Bridge Inventory Rating and Safety Inspection: Parke County (Indianapolis, 1986). Farrar, Garvey & Associates, Parke County Bridge Inspection: Phase II, 2002 (Indianapolis, 2002). "Perrin" inscribed on south girder, and "1921" inscribed on north girder. James L. Cooper, Artistry and Ingenuity in Artificial Stone: Indiana's Concrete Bridges, 1900-1942 (Greencastle, Indiana, 1997), 245-247. Parke County, "Commissioners Record," 26: 513. "Notice to Bridge Contractors," Rockville Tribune, 10 August 1921: 4.

Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: Yes


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