6 votes

Mount Carmel Bridge


Indiana end

Photos taken by Charles Sarjeant

BH Photo #102635


Street View 


Lost Parker through truss bridge over Wabash River on IL 15/IN 64 in Mount Carmel
Mount Carmel, Wabash County, Illinois, and Gibson County, Indiana
Demolished and replaced with a slab of concrete.
Built 1932; rehabilitated 1987; Replaced 2011
- Vincennes Bridge Co. of Vincennes, Indiana
(12)10-panel, riveted Parker through trusses
Length of largest span: 225.0 ft.
Total length: 2,725.3 ft. (0.5 mi.)
Deck width: 21.6 ft.
Vertical clearance above deck: 15.3 ft.
Approximate latitude, longitude
+38.39861, -87.75572   (decimal degrees)
38°23'55" N, 87°45'21" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
16/434010/4250313 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Mount Carmel
Average daily traffic (as of 2009)
Inventory numbers
IL 093-0014 (Illinois bridge number)
BH 15713 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection report (as of June 2009)
Overall condition: Poor
Superstructure condition rating: Poor (4 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Satisfactory (6 out of 9)
Deck condition rating: Satisfactory (6 out of 9)
Sufficiency rating: 14 (out of 100)
View more at BridgeReports.com

Update Log 

  • December 3, 2020: New photo from Tony Dillon
  • January 15, 2019: New photo from Melissa Brand-Welch
  • January 5, 2019: New photo from Melissa Brand-Welch
  • November 20, 2018: New photo from Melissa Brand-Welch
  • February 2, 2011: Updated by Nathan Holth: This bridge has been demolished and replaced.
  • December 9, 2010: Updated by Nathan Holth: Updated expected demolition date. (Late December 2010)
  • March 12, 2010: Updated by Robert Stephenson: Builder and Design
  • March 9, 2010: Updated by Robert Stephenson: Street view
  • September 28, 2009: New photos from Robert Stephenson
  • May 20, 2009: New photos from Robert Stephenson
  • May 20, 2009: Updated by Kim Harvey
  • May 22, 2006: Posted photos from Charles Sarjeant



Mount Carmel Bridge
Posted November 20, 2018, by Melissa Brand-Welch (melissabrandwelch [at] msn [dot] com)

I wanted to post this before I framed it.

Mount Carmel Bridge
Posted June 16, 2011, by Todd (mrwalk11 [at] hothail)

Wider bridges are needed, yes, even if they are UCEB configeration. This bridge was or still is acknowleged by Ripley's Believe It or Not as the "colored bridge". Prior to being painted green, the Illinois side was painted "white", and the Indiana side was painted "black". If only the cutting torch armies and the TNT were turned away a few months ago there could have been a Ripley's Believe It or Not sactioned historic site made by keeping the bridge as a pedestrian crossing and returning it its former "white and black" color scheme. As of Mauks Pond, that structure looked bad and was redundant, so the guys had to get rid of that.

Mount Carmel Bridge
Posted February 16, 2011, by Anthony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

There are probably as many bridges out there with this story tied to them as there are Cry Baby(or Cry Lady)Bridges.

While there is little doubt that workers have been killed while constructing bridges or bridge abutments, usually there is little documentation to support such claims.

I have read accounts of railroad bridges being built with workers who would migrate in from afar and would likely have no relatives nearby. Employee records were probably non-existent for this type of work.

A story like that associated with this bridge seems a little less plausible. Work conditions would have been improved by the 1930's and the concrete work not as daunting as in some of the massive arches like those the Big 4 Railroad built.

If such an accident occurred here, it might have garnered mention in the local newspaper at the time.

Mount Carmel Bridge
Posted February 16, 2011, by Curious

Sorry, meant, Buried.

Mount Carmel Bridge
Posted February 16, 2011, by Curious

Has anyone heard the story of the man that was buriend in one of the concrete pillars while it was being built? Was just wondering if this was true.

Mount Carmel Bridge
Posted February 7, 2011, by Matthew lohry

Andy, thanks for calling me out on my comment; I fully understand that the contractors are simply doing what they are told--it should be the highway departments that get the blame here. Thanks for zilch, IDOT!!

Mount Carmel Bridge
Posted February 7, 2011, by Andy

I just wanted to add a comment about the steel and cost of demolition. It's not like the contractor is getting paid to tear down the bridge and paid again when they sell the steel. If the demolition was 2.5 million and the value of steel on the bridge was 0.5 million the contractor would have to give the credit in there bid to stay competitive. In this case a 2 million dollar bid would be the end result. It doesn't justify destroying an historic bridge but as far as contractors lining their pockets...I think not. Construction today is a cut-throat game and if anything replacing the bridge now will save money because a lot of people will be fighting for the job

Mount Carmel Bridge
Posted February 3, 2011, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

I use demolition photos on my website and in presentations (mainly for shock value to show people the risk and reality these bridges face), however 99% of the time I am not the photographer. It would be too emotional for me to witness and photograph in person.

I believe that for any agency, firm, or individual to profit from the scrap metal of a historic bridge demolition is immoral. Its like after 9-11, idiots were selling papers that fell from the world trade centers. Profiting from tragedy shows a lack of sensitivity to the loss of others. I believe any profit from scrap metal should go into a fund for the preservation of other same-type historic bridges. It might not be a lot of money, but its more the principle of the matter.

Mount Carmel Bridge
Posted February 3, 2011, by Matthew Lohry

For the most part, politicians and demolition crews don't give a rip about the taxpayers or the historic value of what they are demolishing; they are only interested in lining their own pockets. Even though the cost of demolition FAR exceeds the value of any metal that could possibly be retrieved from any structure, they don't have to pay the demolition costs. They are GETTING paid to do it; plus, they also get to keep the recycling value of the steel that they turn in. The ones who get stabbed here are (a the taxpayers, and (b those of us who care about these old structures and would like to see them remain standing. It all amounts to a bunch of politically driven nonsense, and that's it.

Mount Carmel Bridge
Posted February 3, 2011, by K. A. Erickson

They argue for demolition sometimes to recoup costs of building the new bridge particularly if the old bridge is metal. With high metal prices people in some regions are resorting to stealing street signs and guardrails for a few bucks. One town demolished their aluminum smelter, bemoaned about how much it would cost to do so, but discovered so much metal and other recyclables that they made money doing it.

In these "tough" times, counties/states/politicians argue for "fiscal responsibility," and making "serious" decisions. Thus the prospects of getting some money and reducing a potential liability sways them to do what they did. Short term gains mean everything, just ask Wall Street.

Is it right? Discuss amongst yourselves.

As for images of dismantling, I don't like or take them. I like to think of and see bridges in their glory days when the world was seemingly more noble. Discuss amongst yourselves.

Mount Carmel Bridge
Posted February 3, 2011, by Nathan Holth

Aside from projects which demolish a historic metal truss and replace with modern wooden covered bridge, nothing in the entire world makes me more angry than the demolition of a historic bridge that is NOT in the way of its replacement! The demolition of this bridge does absolutely nothing except increase our national debt or waste tax dollars. The money used to demolish this bridge could have been used to feed the poor or shelter the homeless. Or they could have taken the money to Vegas and gambled it away, that would have been more productive. The historic bridge itself would have stood for decades in its condition.

This all sickens me so much I needed to get out my...

Mount Carmel Bridge
Posted February 2, 2011, by Matthew Lohry

The pic that Todd Walker posted below makes me sick to my stomach. This is how IDOT and INDOT treat our transportation heritage and civil engineering history? Personally, I don't see how they can destroy these priceless gems and sleep at night! I definitely think that both highway agencies have earned Anthony's proverbial filthy toilet awards here!

Mount Carmel Bridge
Posted February 2, 2011, by Todd D. Walker (mrwalk08 [at] aol [dot] com)

The UCEB is carrying traffic for a few weeks now. Here is the end of the old bridge.

Mount Carmel Bridge
Posted January 5, 2011, by James Simmons

The Bridge is closed. Very sad day.

Mount Carmel Bridge
Posted December 11, 2010, by Todd D. Walker (mrwalk08 [at] aol [dot] com)

This will be one of the biggest loss of a landmark historic truss when the crews fire up the cutting torches and the dynamite is unloaded. What a way for 2010 to end, with the "bang" of an UCEB victory.

Mount Carmel Bridge
Posted September 28, 2009, by Todd aka. "bridgebuilder" (mrwalk08 [at] aol [dot] com)

Man, that new bridge is UGLY!!!! It may be wider and safer but IT IS CONCRETE!

Mount Carmel Bridge
Posted May 20, 2009, by Todd D Walker (mrwalk67 [at] aol [dot] com)

Thanks for updating Kim. Looks like the UCEB is well into taking form by the new pics posted.

Mount Carmel Bridge
Posted May 20, 2009, by Robert Stephenson (seinfeld99 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

Construction has slowed due to the Wabash flooding.

Mount Carmel Bridge
Posted May 18, 2009, by Todd D Walker (mrwalk08 [at] aol [dot] com)

UCEB coming to Mount Carmel!!!

I read online that construction of a concrete slab replacement here is underway. This will be a huge loss to the countryside when this bridge bites the preverbial dust.

Mount Carmel Bridge
Posted September 14, 2007, by Anonymous

This bridge is scheduled to be replaced between 2008-13!

Mount Carmel Bridge
Posted December 21, 2006, by Tom Hoffman (tehoffm [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Did anyone know its a TWELVE SPAN Bridge?