11 votes

Laughery Creek Bridge



Photo taken June 2005 by James Adorno

BH Photo #102749

Street Views 


Triple Intersection Pratt through truss bridge over Laughery Creek on Old IN 56
Dearborn County, Indiana, and Ohio County, Indiana
Recently rehabilitated and open for pedestrian use
Built 1878 by the Wrought Iron Bridge Co.; bypassed 1959; closed in the 1970's; restored 2008 for pedestrians.
- Wrought Iron Bridge Co. of Canton, Ohio
Triple intersection Pratt through truss
Length of largest span: 297.5 ft.
Total length: 298.8 ft.
Deck width: 17.0 ft.
Vertical clearance above deck: 21.4 ft.
Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on September 29, 1976
Also called
Dearborn County Bridge #95
Triple Whipple Bridge
Ohio County Bridge #27
Approximate latitude, longitude
+39.02461, -84.88586   (decimal degrees)
39°01'29" N, 84°53'09" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
16/683012/4321634 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Average daily traffic (as of 2009)
Inventory numbers
INNBI 1500079 (Indiana bridge number on the National Bridge Inventory)
NRHP 76000018 (National Register of Historic Places reference number)
BH 16011 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection report (as of April 2009)
Overall condition: Good
Superstructure condition rating: Very Good (8 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Very Good (8 out of 9)
Deck condition rating: Very Good (8 out of 9)
Sufficiency rating: 25.5 (out of 100)
View more at BridgeReports.com

Update Log 

  • October 4, 2022: New photo from Paul Plassman
  • August 28, 2022: New photos from Paul Plassman
  • April 25, 2022: New Street View added by Dave King
  • March 18, 2022: Updated by Paul Plassman: Added Rick's photo & category "21-panel truss"
  • January 6, 2019: Updated by Dana and Kay Klein: Added category "Othmar H. Ammann Nominee"
  • September 20, 2018: New photos from Carl Crasher
  • November 12, 2017: New photos from Mike Daffron
  • July 9, 2014: New photos from Andrew Raker
  • November 6, 2011: Updated by James McCray: Changed name from Laughery Creek Bridge to the beloved "Tripple Whipple Bridge" name
  • November 6, 2011: New photos from J.P.
  • March 14, 2010: Updated by Bill Eichelberger: Added Google Street View.
  • February 28, 2010: New photos from J.P.
  • January 30, 2010: New photos from Anthony Dillon
  • May 11, 2009: New photos from James McCray
  • April 20, 2009: Posted HAER photos
  • April 20, 2009: Updated by James McCray
  • April 1, 2009: New photo from Anthony Dillon
  • September 28, 2008: Updated by Anthony Dillon
  • August 21, 2008: Updated by Anthony Dillon
  • October 10, 2005: Posted photos from James Adorno


  • James Adorno
  • Wikipedia
  • HAER IN-16 - Laughery Creek Bridge, Spanning Laughery Creek, Aurora vicinity, Dearborn County, IN
  • Tony Dillon - spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com
  • James McCray - jamesinslocomb [at] yahoo [dot] com
  • J.P. - wildcatjon2000 [at] gmail [dot] com
  • Bill Eichelberger
  • Mike Daffron - daffmikron [at] gmail [dot] com
  • Historicbridges.org - by Nathan Holth
  • Andrew Raker
  • Paul Plassman
  • Dave King - DKinghawkfan [at] hotmail [dot] com


Laughery Creek Bridge
Posted September 6, 2012, by Tom Pratt (Trussmaster [at] heaven [dot] com)

Ha ha, Whipple! Go back to squeezing the Charmin! My brother Caleb and I are the best bridge builders of all time! Of all Time!

Laughery Creek Bridge
Posted September 6, 2012, by James Barney Marsh (JBM [at] heaven [dot] net)

Mr. Whipple and I were just discussing this very issue. Although my company did build Marsh arch bridges in the Midwest, the name Marsh arch is now commonly used to describe any rainbow arch bridge that has been encased in conrete, regardless of builder. I just love to give Mr. McCullough a little, ahem, "ribbing" about that.

Laughery Creek Bridge
Posted September 5, 2012, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

No disrespect to you Squire... but it is correctly classified.

This bridge, and any regular Whipple truss for that matter, is a sub-type of the Pratt truss... As are Camelbacks, Parkers, Pennsylvanias, and Baltimores. A Whipple by definition is a double-intersection Pratt.

The "Triple Whipple" moniker is nothing more than a coined name. While you and your truss may have served as inspiration for the design of this unique structure, it was truly a Wrought Iron Bridge Company original.

Laughery Creek Bridge
Posted September 4, 2012, by Squire Whipple (bridgebuilder [at] heaven [dot] com)

It troubles me to see that the overview and design sections say "Triple Intersection Pratt".

Tripple Whipple Bridge
Posted November 7, 2011, by K. A. Erickson

Go for the tattoos Tony, James Mc, and Nathan. One has only so much time and you might as well enjoy all life has to offer. It could also be a point of interest at Bridge Hunter get-togethers. "I have the St. Johns." "This is the Winona Bridge" "I plan on finishing the Foster Bridge here at a later date." Etc. Although for me perhaps just the portal bracing of the Murray Bridge.

Tripple Whipple Bridge
Posted November 7, 2011, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

Tony, Not sure, I never found a followup article although that doesn't mean there wasn't one.

Tripple Whipple Bridge
Posted November 7, 2011, by Anthony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Interesting story...I wonder if they ever found him?

Tripple Whipple Bridge
Posted November 7, 2011, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

Funny you mention tattoos. I have discussed (mostly jokingly) about getting the likeness of a bridge plaque tattooed upon my body. Columbia Bridge Works is one of my running favorites.

On a more serious note, Morris C. Sparks, a superintendent during construction of the 16th Street Bridge was described as having a truss bridge tattoo on his arm. Read more here: http://www.historicbridges.org/bridges/browser/?bridgebrowse...

Tripple Whipple Bridge
Posted November 7, 2011, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Yes James... I too have mentioned to my wife on more than one occasion that I would like to have a bridge tattoo. Her responses have varied from the "Are you out of your mind" look to the "Yes...and I'll get a divorce too" rebuttal. So I guess it will just remain a fantasy of mine...lol

Tripple Whipple Bridge
Posted November 6, 2011, by James McCray (jamesinslocomb [at] yahoo [dot] com)

I am crazy about this bridge. I am considering getting a tatoo with a likeness of the bridge encircled by skulls underscored with a bible verse from Revelation or something on my right upper arm. Ok maybe not, but it was a nice thought anyway.

Laughery Creek Bridge
Posted November 6, 2011, by J.P.

Was able to get out and see this bridge, sadly it was as the sun was setting, still got some descent photos at dusk.

Laughery Creek Bridge
Posted February 9, 2010, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

In Michigan, we have a lot of restored truss bridges painted black, so I am overexposed to the color. Speaking of overexposed, that is the problem with black, is it makes the bridge hard to photo, particularly when you want the details to stand out. The beauty of the truss is in the details, so paint schemes should bring out the details. As for the Triple Whipple, I would have gone for a rusty red color to maintain the appearance it has held for decades. However unless they are salting that walkway in the winter, they could have saved a ton of money and not painted the bridge at all. Just clean out the pack rust. Its wrought iron, and it does not decay like steel.

You did mention one critically important comment... your suggestion that more than one color could have been used on the bridge. In America we apparently have a fear of using more than one color on a bridge. In contrast, England routinely paints there bridges to unique, colorful schemes. From what I can see the colors chosen are well-thought-out so you do not have problems visually (like the ones you highlighted... I agree a white bridge with green railings might not be the best... I would have reversed the colors) Multiple color schemes also do wonders to bring out the details.

I offer a discussion here: http://www.historicbridges.org/unitedkingdom/hammersmith/ind...

Laughery Creek Bridge
Posted February 9, 2010, by Anthony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

I didn't like the black at first Nathan, but I have to confess it has kind of grown on me. I would have liked to see them use a complementary color on the guardrails, and paint the plaques (perhaps a gold or bronze color). As you know,the Wells Street Bridge in Fort Wayne is Black, but they used gold and vermillion red on the plaques to make them stand out nicely.

The bridge that disappoints me color-wise is the Sechrist Ferry Bridge. White with green guardrails just seems an unusual choice. In our current snow drenched state, it seems to me that the bridge would be nearly invisible (except for the guardrails!)

The red bridges do stand out in all seasons, as do some of the darker blue ones like the Hibbs Bridge.

Laughery Creek Bridge
Posted February 1, 2010, by Anthony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

I would have to say that all of us who are passionate about historic bridges and share that love on this site are all AWESOME!.......That is what makes this site so enjoyable!!

Laughery Creek Bridge
Posted February 1, 2010, by James McCray (jamesinslocomb)

I have to disagree, J.P. has to be the True Dedicated Bridge Lover. His pictures are awesome and he is the one on Bridgehunter that discovered has discovered the oldest still in use bridge in Indiana!

Laughery Creek Bridge
Posted January 31, 2010, by Todd (mrwalk08 [at] aol [dot] com)

Anthony Dillon is a "true dedicated bridge lover". He takes the neatest pictures, one reason I enjoy this website.

Laughery Creek Bridge
Posted March 5, 2009, by Harold Scudder (hlscudder [at] cablespeed [dot] com)

Stopped by the bridge today(Mar3,2009), I was quite impressed with the restoration. Was really happy that the restoration took place and an old Whipple has been rescued.There were four men at the bridge and I thanked them for a job well done.

Laughery Creek Bridge
Posted November 25, 2008, by Don

Visited the bridge today. Looks great!

Laughery Creek Bridge
Posted November 8, 2008, by Don

I saw they had half of it painted black and the other half covered in tarps a week or two ago. I thought they would be painting it red though. Railings look good. Just not sure if I like the black.

Laughery Creek Bridge
Posted November 1, 2008, by Anthony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Visited the bridge today and the painters were there working on it. They told me they would be finished in about another week. After that there will be some road work. Then it will probably be finished for the year.

Webmaster's note: The photos that were here have been incorporated into the main site.

Laughery Creek Bridge
Posted October 20, 2008, by Anthony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)


A Change Order has to be issued whenever additional funds are needed that are not in the original contract. It is not uncommon to have a few of these on most jobs. I found it is better to request the extra money and do the job right the first time.


Laughery Creek Bridge
Posted October 20, 2008, by Don

Found this info on the Dearborn County website from October 7th 2008.

Change order for Triple Whipple found issues with abutment when it was jacked up totaling $8596.

Laughery Creek Bridge
Posted October 11, 2008, by Anthony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

I hope to get down there myself before the weather turns bad. It has been dry enough that they should be able to get all the work done. Yeah the abutments were built in 1868, with the covered bridge being completed in late 1869. It collapsed in July of 1878 and after much debate on weather to replace it with another wooden span or one of iron, the iron span was built on the existing abutments.


Laughery Creek Bridge
Posted October 11, 2008, by Don (sega65 [at] gmail [dot] com)

It says in the news story that

"Work started Tuesday, April 1, and probably will be completed in July, said Rob Davidson, superintendent for Faulkner Construction, Louisville, Ky.

But the company has until Saturday, Nov. 15, to complete the project, noted Dearborn County Highway Director Todd Listerman."

I'll probably go visit the bridge near the end of November to see where they are at on the construction. That's interesting about the abutments. I didn't even know about the covered bridge.

Laughery Creek Bridge
Posted October 10, 2008, by Anthony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Looks like it's coming along nicely. Do you happen to know when it's supposed to be completed? I would say the painting won't happen until next year, but they might try to sneak it in. I'm glad to see they kept the stone abutments, which actually date back to the 1868 covered bridge.


Laughery Creek Bridge
Posted October 10, 2008, by Don (sega65 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Here are a few pictures of the construction going on at the Tripple Whipple. They were taken in late August by Dave Michaels.

Laughery Creek Bridge
Posted August 22, 2008, by Anonymous

I'm glad to see that this bridge is being restored, but $1,300,00 to do it? And, it's only going to be open to bicycles and pedestrians.

Man, someone is being seriously over paid. It's no wonder so many old bridges are allowed to deteriorate.

Laughery Creek Bridge
Posted August 22, 2008, by Don

Here is the new story for the bridge for those who are interested.


Laughery Creek Bridge
Posted August 21, 2008, by Don

Turns out repairs have started! This picture is from April 25th 2008. I had no idea they were doing this! Good thing I went when I did in February. Can't wait to see it when it's done!

Laughery Creek Bridge
Posted August 21, 2008, by D

Here is some interesting information I found that is dated July 5th 2006.

Tripple-Whipple - Bridge #95 - Last December the Transportation Dept. received an official letter from INDOT regarding the bridge over Laughery Creek, the Tripple-Whipple Bridge. At that time, the Board of Commissioners authorized Todd Listerman to seek additional funds for Transportation Enhancement for additional construction dollar costs where originally they were given approximately $600,000 ten years ago. The construction costs have increased and INDOT has approved an additional $673,000 in federal Transportation Enhancement funds to fund the rehabilitation of the Tripple-Whipple Bridge. The county is in the process of meeting with INDOT at the Seymour district and the county’s consultant which is Barth & Associates to figure out what the last final steps they need to accomplish. The county will also meet with Ohio County to get the final grievance signed to pay their share of the (20% for construction dollars on Bridge #95.

They also plan on finishing the paperwork on the right-of-way necessary needed to do the work on Dearborn County’s side of the bridge. There have been discussions but the county has held off on finalizing the right-of-way paperwork until they had the grant in hand. Now that the grant is in hand, they will start that paperwork as well.

Todd mentioned that the Bridge #95 would be a part of the pedestrian connection – where it will be widened as part of the rehabilitation.

Laughery Creek Bridge
Posted February 16, 2008, by D

Thought this pic would be good to add. The bridge closed sign on Old S.R. 56 to the Laughery Creek Bridge. Also attached is a picture of the deck of bridge taken on Febuary 16th, 2008. It still seems to be in pretty good condition!

Laughery Creek Bridge
Posted May 13, 2007, by Anthony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Just a note on the description of this bridge. It is over Laughery Creek, not a branch of it. Thanks