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Jefferson Boulevard Bridge

Allen County Bridge 330

Jefferson Boulevard Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: July 5, 2021

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
West Jefferson Boulevard Over St. Marys River
Fort Wayne: Allen County, Indiana: United States
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1935 By Builder/Contractor: Charles R. Wermuth and Son of Fort Wayne, Indiana and Engineer/Design: Indiana State Highway Commission

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Main Span Length
69 Feet (21 Meters)
Structure Length
204 Feet (62.2 Meters)
Roadway Width
52.2 Feet (15.91 Meters)
3 Main Span(s)
NBI Number

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
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Bridge Documentation

This is one of an impressive number of concrete arch bridges documented in Fort Wayne. This one has had its original paneled railings replaced. A riveted plate girder railroad overpass is located next to this bridge, and a few photos are included in the gallery.

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

Above: Photo From 1989 by James Cooper showing bridge with original railing.

Above: Photo From 1989 by James Cooper showing bridge with original railing.

Information and Findings From DHPA Historic Bridge Survey

Bridge History and Significance

Previous Structure (1920 - 1934)

The Fort Wayne Park Board reported in March 1920 that they were "fortunate last year in securing from the county commissioners the iron bridge taken down at State boulevard and which is now being re-erected over the St. Mary's river at Swinney park, thus giving foot and automotive passage between the east and west halves of the park." The bridge abutments had been built and the approaches were being prepared. A proposal in late 1920 to open a lengthy cross-town street "along the new Jefferson St. and Washington Blvd. extended" featured in the Journal Gazette shows the substantial metal through-truss superstructure carrying Jefferson Street over the St. Mary's. The trusses appear to be high double-intersecting Pratts.

Surveyed Structure (1934 - )

In the decade before the Second World War, the state highway commission selected reinforced concrete arches for most spans between 30 and 80 feet. The state design engineers preferred three-centered rings with solid spandrel walls filled with earth to about 1 foot above the crown. Needing mostly to handle dead-load stress, the rings of the arches were only about 10-inches deep at center to accommodate the reinforcing and vary at the abutments according to the demands of the site. The arches carried coped and bush-hammered panel parapet rails which curved away from the roadway at the entrance and exit. The state contracted with Charles R. Wermuth and Son of Fort Wayne to construct the three-arch structure in September 1934. The contract was for $63,933.08. The rings are symmetrical, quite full, and spring from at least 6-feet up on the piers. Cantilevered 4 feet beyond the spandrel walls, brackets carry 5-foot and 3-inch concrete sidewalks which flank the 43-foot and10-inch asphalt roadway. The bridge reflects conventional state design. It is both long and wide for its time and its skew is also of interest. The deck was replaced and widened in 1996.

References Butler, Fairman & Seufert, Inc., Bridge Inspection/Reinspection Report: Allen County (Indianapolis, 1973, 1977, 1981). SIECO, Inc., Bridge Reinspection Report: Allen County (Columbus, 1993, 1995). Farrar, Garvey & Associates, Allen County: Bridge Inspection (Indianapolis, 2002, 2004). ISHC, "Tabulation of Awards - Bridges," contract #973 (structure #24-P-1661). "Five-Mile River Bank Park Urged in Report of Park Commissioners, Fort Wayne News-Sentinel, 27 March 1920: 8. "Opens Cross Town Street 5 Miles Long," Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette, 15 December 1920.

Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: Yes


Photo Galleries and Videos: Jefferson Boulevard Bridge

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Bridge Photo-Documentation
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