Wilsons Bridge Rehabilitated and Open to Vehicular Traffic
Copyright Paul Brandenburg - August 2008
BH Photo #123010
I wanted to comment that the fact that two colors were used for the paint on this bridge is indeed unusual in the United States, but is commonplace in the United Kingdom.
A multi-color paint scheme on a truss bridge, often using vibrant colors, brings out the complex detail that makes the bridge type so beautiful.
I recently found a bridge on Google Streetview in England that really shows how a multi-color paint scheme brings out the different parts of the truss, while at the same time not looking gaudy. http://maps.google.com/maps?q=&layer=c&cbll=53.494627,-2.270...
The guardrails stand out nicely in contrast to the rest of the bridge. I wish we could have had the Hays(White) Bridge painted the same way, with a darker color on the rails to make them stand out. Rob and the guys at Bloomfield do a great job.
I failed to mention that when we rehabilitated the Wilson bridge that the painting contractor was Bloomfield painters, they did a wonderful job painting this bridge, as they have always done on any of their projects. It was a bit different to paint the two different colors on this bridge, but they turned out wonderful.
I painted the wilson bridge,and i have to say its a sharp looking bridge! And we enjoyed working with CLR.
My company, CLR Inc. from Vincennes In. restored the Wilson bridge with the help of nearby Ross Brown, a local Blacksmith. It was a very extensive rehabilitation. The plaques were replicated, we used a small foundry in Indianapolis, Duplicast, and they do a very good job. We patched the bullet holes in the original and then he made copies from it. The wooden floor is supposed to last at least 60 years, which is one of the reasons it was selected, also it was selected because of the many Amish horse and buggies that cross the bridge. At first I didn't think the color was a good choice, but it turned out very good looking. A new roadway was built for the approaches, with drains installed in the roadway to drain water away from behind the abutments, which is obvious by the water draining out from around the abutment in a plastic pipe. The old railing was also replicated and riveted by Ross Brown, and then installed over the new heavier railing that does a better job of protecting the verticals from impact.
The pictures posted are very good, I have many as it was being rehabilitated as well.
Boy I am glad to see this page. Last time I made a trip down that road to check on this bridge, it was finally closed off and barricaded. I had researched and found where it was to be tore down. Really remote and beautiful location and I am overjoyed to see it is restored and back open. Too bad it is icy here at this time as I will be passing by Delphi again tommorrow and will fret that I can't take the time to stop by and see, maybe in the spring when I have time and weather is more conducive perhaps? I have been a fan of this bridge for many many years and want to say thank you for posting the update and pics. James
There are several Lafayette Bridge Co. spans remaining, and many do still have builder plates on them. Often the county road departments would take them down for fear of them falling....you know that dirty word LIABILITY. I have come across them stored in highway garages on some occasions. A good engineering firm that does a rehab the right way will have the plates recast or replicated from a similar span.
Thanks for the info Tom, it is a beautiful bridge very nicely restored.
There was still an original builder’s plate on the bridge before restoration, but it was full of bullet holes.
I’m going to say that these are reproductions. Very nice ones at that, a detail that is usually overlooked.
Also, the bridge now has a wood floor rather than corrugated steel covered with asphalt as before.
Beautiful restoration,right down to the retention of the original lattice rails over the top of the new ones. Does anyone know if those are the original builders plates ? I see they were missing in the earlier unrestored photo. If they are reproductions they are very good ones.
Sorry for all the misspelling on orignal post - was posting at 2:00am
Bridge looks completed, new approaches yet to finished and paved as of 07/19/08. Glad to see that it was restored and not replaced as orignally planned.
great bridge, i love it. thanks for finding it and sending in this photo