There are a number of remarkable bridges in Indiana. Many bridges are well within “normal” bounds, although a few are noticeably longer than anticipated. Now let’s examine the longest bridges that cross Indiana:
1. Tulip Trestle Bridge
Length: 2,307 feet
Location: Richland Creek Valley
Type: Steel trestle railroad bridge
The longest steel-girded railway bridge still in use in the world is the Tulip Trestle Bridge. Since the Indiana Railroad Company still uses this bridge, you can frequently see trains crossing it.
At 157 feet high, it is also the highest bridge in Indiana.
In fact, this bridge is known by several names. Officially, it is referred to as Bridge X75-6. But the locals refer to it as the Viaduct. It’s frequently referred to as the Tulip Trestle Bridge online. It mostly depends on who you ask!
In 1906, the bridge’s construction originally required over $250,000, and its steel frame weighs 2700 pounds. That would be more than $20 million now.
One of the reasons the bridge is so well-known in the community is because it is covered in graffiti nowadays.
2. Clark Memorial Bridge
Length: 5,366.4 feet
Location: Jeffersonville, Indiana
Type: Steel cantilever truss bridge
One of Indiana’s biggest bridges is the Clark Memorial Bridge. It is debatable, nevertheless, if this bridge is the biggest. This bridge crosses the Ohio River, with technically half of its length located in Kentucky. Even if you cut the length in half, this bridge ranks second in length.
It would be the longest, though, if you counted the entire length.
Two distinct cantilever truss bridges are combined to create this bridge. It is among the few remaining truss bridges from before 1930. The fact that an older bridge still stands is remarkable in and of itself, as the majority of them have been replaced.
In addition, the bridge has numerous archaic features, like no guardrail to keep the cars from colliding with the trusses. This is a unique look at how bridges used to look more than a century ago.
3. Medora Covered Bridge
Length: 434 feet
Location: Medora, Indiana
Type: Covered bridge
The Medora Covered Bridge is the longest covered bridge in the country, however not nearly as long as the Tulip Trestle Bridge above. Despite repairs, it still has all of its original trusses and has never had any major structural alterations. Approximately 434 feet, depending on who you ask.
The first iteration of this bridge dates from 1875. It took the place of the previously in operation ferry service over the river and was covered to assist shield pedestrians from the elements.
The bridge had two lanes of traffic at first. But later, the cars became larger, and the bridge narrowed to one lane. It remains a one-way bridge to this day.
Up until 1935, the bridge played a significant role in the local transportation system. The bridge once supported U.S. Route 50. Still, the highway was rerouted in 1935. The bridge is essentially a historic and cultural landmark today. Before being listed as a historic place on the National Register of Historic Places in 2007, it had previously been saved from demolition multiple times.
4. Bell’s Ford Bridge
Length: 325 feet
Location: Seymour, Indiana
The Medora Covered Bridge is approximately 100 feet longer than the Bell’s Ford Bridge. Still, there are still a lot of covered bridges along the route.
The Bell Ford Post Patented Diagonal “Combination Bridge” is the full name of this bridge. Still, almost everyone just refers to it as the Bell Ford Bridge. Constructed in 1869, this bridge once crossed the White River. It was first built in two sections, one using iron and the other using wood.
Up until 1970, when a new bridge was constructed and traffic was rerouted, the bridge was still regularly used. Nine months after the bridge was placed on the National Register of Historic Places, a significant section of it collapsed.
The question of whether or not to rebuild the bridge was discussed. At the time, the county commissioner said it most definitely shouldn’t be. Nonetheless, funding for its rehabilitation was provided by the National Historic Covered Bridge Preservation Programme. Simultaneously, a different organisation suggested to buy the bridge and relocate it to Fort Benjamin Harrison State Park so that it might be rebuilt.