Rating:
4 votes

Conrail - Wabash River Bridge

Photos 

Overview

looking west from north side of bridge

Photo taken by Tom Hall in April 2010

Enlarge

BH Photo #163647

Map 

Description 

Stone abutments are likely from the original 1869 bridge built for the Indianapolis Bloomington and Western Railway.

Facts 

Overview
Abandoned Deck girder bridge over Wabash River on former Peoria and Eastern Railroad at Covington
Location
Covington, Fountain County, Indiana, and Warren County, Indiana
Status
Abandoned, but intact
History
Built 1923 for the Peoria and Eastern Railroad
Builder
- McClintic-Marshall Co. of Chicago, Illinois & Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Railroads
- Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago & St. Louis Railway (CCC&StL)
- Conrail (CR)
- New York Central Railroad (NYC)
- Penn Central Railroad (PC)
- Peoria & Eastern Railroad (P&E)
Design
Deck girder
Also called
Covington Railroad Bridge
PC - Wabash River Bridge
NYC - Wabash River Bridge
Big Four - Wabash River Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+40.13542, -87.40498   (decimal degrees)
40°08'08" N, 87°24'18" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
16/465499/4442865 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Covington
Inventory number
BH 45023 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • August 9, 2012: Updated by Daniel Hopkins: Added category "Railroad"
  • October 27, 2010: New photo from James Norwood
  • April 26, 2010: Updated by James Norwood: Added railroad info
  • April 24, 2010: Added by Tom Hall

Related Bridges 

Sources 

  • Tom Hall - thomas [dot] hall [at] ffni [dot] com
  • James Norwood

Comments 

Wabash River Big Four Railroad Bridge
Posted April 26, 2010, by Mike Roegner (roegner [at] soltec [dot] net)

I did some research on the IB&W a few years ago that ended in total fustration because I couldn't find photos or illustrations. - here's excerpts of some articles that might be relevant:

October 14, 1869 - A Toledo bridge building company have taken the contract for bridging the Wabash and are already at work quarrying stone for the purpose. The rest of the bridge work is contracted to Col. Barcus of Crawfordsville. All this looks hopeful for the speedy construction of the road.

Undated 1869: - The masonry work on the Wabash Bridge of the IB&WRR has been let to Mssrs. Jas. Hamilton & Co of Pickaway, Ohio.

October 21, 1869 - We have just learned from Hon. Samuel F. Wood of Covington, that work on the Indianapolis, Bloomington & Western Railroad line has actually commenced at that Place. ... saw workmen ploughing and grading for the roadbed in the Wabash bottom yesterday morning as he passed. A company is also quarrying stone for the abutments of the bridge, in the hill on this side. We are glad to see these evidences of the progress of the road.

The abutments may be from the original bridge- I'd be willing to bet, though, that there was another bridge at this site before the 1923 bridge was built. According to a post on the forum of the Peoria & Eastern Railway Yahoo Group this bridge was offered to Covington as a footbridge by Conrail in the early 1980's, but Covington turned it down because of liability issues. I think I also read that Conrail abandoned it because there was significant scouring under some of the piers. Like the Middlefork High Bridge, kids riding ATV's like to use it.