This bridge was closed to traffic today (3-24-13). There is lots of heavy construction equipment in place and that usually means only one thing = a new concrete bridge. The Shelhorn Bridge just two miles downstream has also been replaced after being closed for several years. Sad to see Decatur County losing some of its old iron structures recently especially over the Flatrock River.
I posted my last message kind of fast, but just like Tony said I knew AECON Engineering is the problem where they are not historic bridge fans especially ever since that feed truck took out bridge 146. So now the weight limits are kept low and AECON does whatever to convince Decatur County that these historic bridges cannot be restored in place. I believe this is a problem for many US counties where these engineering companies do whatever to convince their employees and the county they work for to tingle over the saftey of their bridges. A historic through truss can be rehabilitated in place for traffic especially if the road is little used and if there is a designated crossing nearby. However, I understand this bridge and Shelhorn creates a dead end for farm traffic, but at least one of these should be saved and rehabbed for what they were built for in place. Nearby Bartholomew County rehabbed many of their truss bridges for what they were built for, and Hancock rehabbed their last bridge(Hays bridge) in a great way for what it was built for. A county without a truss bridge open for traffic does not offer much significance along a stream. However, I hope either the Applegate or Shelhorn bridges can at least get moved to the park with the Boyd Bridge to replace that broken down plank bridge and we can have a park with two historic bridges.
Unfortunately, AECON Engineering has brainwashed the Decatur County Commissioners into believing these spans cannot be rehabilitated for continued use on the county highway system.
And while I am certainly grateful to see the Boyd Bridge preserved in the city park, and the Robbins Ford Bridge bypassed and restored in place.......both have been rehabilitated to such a degree that they could continue to carry traffic.
And so now the Applegate and Shelhorn Bridges will likely be dismantled and hopefully both will soon find a new home. There is talk of using one of them to replace a dilapidated footbridge in the city park not far from the Boyd Bridge.
This bridge may also be disassembled and stored as well beginning next spring when bidding is due to be let. I just can't understand why Decatur County cant have at least one of their historic through trusses be restored and left what it was built for. Especially when the Westport Covered bridge was reopened for light traffic when it had been bypassed for awhile.