This bridge was built by a noteworthy and long-lived bridge company. Formed in 1886 by the purchase of the Indianapolis Bridge Company and relocation of that company from Indianapolis, Indiana to Muncie, Indiana, the Indiana Bridge Company appears to be one of the few bridge companies from this period that is still in business today. Pictured to the left is an advertisement for the Indiana Bridge Company in 1893. The ad appeared in a magazine called "Paving and Municipal Engineering." The Indiana Bridge Company was very prolific particularly in its home state of Indiana. However surviving examples of the bridge company's work in other states such as Iowa are becoming uncommon.
The Old Bridge Road Bridge is a good representative example of the work being done by the Indiana Bridge Company in the early 20th Century. As a 1906 Pratt through truss with pinned connections, the bridge is typical of of a late example of a pin-connected truss bridge. In 1906 pin-connections were increasingly giving way to riveted connections due to the newfound ability to field rivet more easily. However pin-connected truss bridges continued to be built as well especially during the first 10 years of the 20th Century.
The composition of the truss is as follows: Panels: Six. Top chord and end post: back-to-back channels with cover plate and v-lacing. Hip verticals: loop-forged eyebars. Other verticals: back-to-back channels with v-lacing on each side. Bottom chord: loop-forged eyebars. Portal bracing: Traditional A-frame composed of single and paired angles. Sway bracing: unusually configured lightweight design including riveted angles. Lateral bracing: rod. Floor beams: Rolled American Standard Beams (i-beams). Railing: Modern Armco guardrails, no original railing. Deck: wooden deck with no additional wearing surface.
The bridge does not have paint on it and the bridge has rusted, however the bridge does not seem to exhibit significant/severe section loss or pack rust, particularly at the bottom chord connections which would typically display these problems on a bridge especially a bridge like this one that is likely built of steel and not rust-resistant wrought iron. The relatively good condition of this bridge is likely due to its location on a quiet rural road that does not see corrosive de-icing salts.
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