This riveted pony truss span was relocated and preserved here for pedestrian use. It is a traditionally composed example of its type and retains good historic integrity. The railing on this bridge is a lattice riveted railing, but is not the original railing and was added as part of the restoration.
Information and Findings From DHPA Historic Bridge Survey
Morgan county began a prolonged effort at federal-aid replacement of the Mahalasville Bridge in the 1990s and finally decided to proceed with county funding alone. It closed the old structure sometime in 2004 and had a new single span welded truss built alongside. The shorter span, which crossed the channel, was reportedly demolished by a tree falling on it. Having removed the floor and floor-beams of the old span and cut its trusses in two, the contractor for the new span gifted the truss remains in June 2004 to James E. Barker Engineering who made the structure available for rehabilitation and reuse in Delaware County in 2005. For original location, see Morgan County #28 (Mahalasville Bridge). Yorktown Relocation The refurbished old long span currently spans Buck Creek on new concrete abutments in a Yorktown park, a short distance W of Muncie. John T. Camden, who rehabilitated the structure, narrowed it to a 12-foot walkway (13'5" center to center of trusses) for pedestrian use and installed new floor-beams, runs of rolled steel stringers, a timber deck, lower lateral braces, and latticed 19th-century replica railings. The 90-foot span of this structure is quite long for a Pratt pony design. Both original spans took advantage of a number of opportunities for stiffer members which riveting accommodates more easily than pinning. The long span was further strengthened by making its trusses deeper, adding another panel of countering, reinforcing the lower chord member in the center panels, and using heavier floor-beams. The replacement project led to the demolition of the shorter span in 2004 and the removal of the long-span's original floor-beams, laterals, and deck. Relocation led to narrowing the structure.
The "wagon bridge at Mahalasville was broken in two during the high waters" of a September 1926 storm, making "every day" in town as though "Sunday there now." Mahalasville residents demanded a new bridge for over Indian Creek from the county authorities, and they quickly got it. The county council soon appropriated $10,500 for a replacement within a week. Although the commissioners set a November letting, the board actually contracted with the Vincennes Bridge Company for a replacement in late October for the concrete abutment and piers and the steel-trussed superstructures for $9,848 plus piling, if needed. Piling was apparently required, for Martinsville Democrat reported on the 23rd of December that the pile driver was expected that week. The Vincennes bridge men worked on the pier pits on Sunday in order to get Christmas day off. The riveted, full-hip Pratt pony trusses were seated upon concrete abutments and pier. The two spans of the 162-foot structure were of different length and depth: the one to the North spanned 90 feet in six panels at 10-feet deep, and the southern one extended 70 feet in five panels at an 8'4" depth. All the verticals were made from two pairs of angles and a few battens which also helped to stiffen the external sway braces. A pair of angles and battens provided the diagonals and the counters. None of the outer panels had diagonals, and only the center panel(s) were countered (two panels in the long span, and one in the shorter one). A pair of heavy angles and battens also supplied the lower-chord members in all except the two most central panels of the long span where the angles were doubled. Riveted to the verticals below the lower chord, I-floor-beams carried runs of rolled-I steel stringers and a 16-foot concrete deck. At 20 inches, the floor-beams of the long span were 2 inches deeper than on the shorter one. Narrow-channel guardrails protected the trusses. Morgan county began a prolonged effort at federal-aid replacement of the Mahalasville Bridge in the 1990s and finally decided to proceed with county funding alone. It closed the old structure sometime in 2004 and had a new single span welded truss built alongside. The shorter span, which crossed the channel, was reportedly demolished by a tree falling on it. Having removed the floor and floor-beams of the old span and cut its trusses in two, the contractor for the new span gifted the truss remains in June 2004 to James E. Barker Engineering who made the structure available for rehabilitation and reuse in Delaware County in 2005. For relocation site, see Delaware county, Yorktown Bridge.
References Associated Engineering, Bridge Inventory Rating and Safety Inspection Report: Morgan County (Nashville, 1974); Bridge Reinspection Study and Report: Morgan County (Nashville, 1978). Sebree, Craig, & McKneight, Inc., Bridge Reinspection Study and Report: Morgan County (Indianapolis, 1986). "Bridge Should Be Fixed at Once," " Bridge Money Appropriated," "Mahalasville Bridge," Martinsville Democrat, 17 September 1926: p1c2; 24 September 1926: p5c4; 23 December 1926: p4. "Two Other Bids Submitted," Martinsville Daily Reporter, 6 October 1926: p1c4. "Bridge and Road Contracts were Awarded," Martinsville Republican, 7 October 1926: p1c3. Morgan County, "Commissioners Record," XXVIII: 444.
Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: Yes
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