Here's a link to a documentary video we did on the history of the Cedar Grove Bridge. Enjoy!
Um, as you posted anonymously, I'm not sure who you are but, your statement is unreasonable. The entity that owns the bridge decides to get rid of it. This company provides a service that does so. Convince the entity that owns the bridge that there is a better alternative - like restoring it - and this company's services will not be needed.
The contractor was Controlled Demolition Inc. A group who's crimes against historic structures is pretty extensive and doesn't include just bridges I will list just a few.
Mapes Hotel (NR Listed 1999)
The old Sunshine Skyway Bridge ( which as we all know was replaced by an UCS Ugly Cable Slab)
RG Steel Mill Ore Bridge (2013)
Fort Steuben Bridge (2012)
Bridgeport Bridge (2011)
Charleroi-Monessen Bridge (2011)
Allegheny River Bridge (2010)
J.L Hudson's Department Store (1998 NR Listed)
Traymore Hotel (1972).
And Finally this bridge
As you can see these guys have no respect for history and see not just historic bridges, but historic structures in general as things to destroy to make a quick buck. Companies like this need to be stopped.
Boo! Knew it was coming, hoping to see before the bad day. My parents got great pix last fall. Progress....
The bids were let Aug 5th, and can be found here. Under official bid results. page 28
Another interesting fact. The river in the photos I took yesterday was just slightly less than 4 feet high. Flood stage is 20 feet. The 1913 flood was 39 feet or 35 feet higher than in my Oct. 26, 2015 photos. Can you imagine that!
Sorry, I don't know anything more than what is on the bridge blog. That is that two bids were received for the job and it is to be done between Nov. 1 and the end of March. I should add that their has been some brush clearing on the north side abutment since the last time I saw it.
Ed: How much was the demolition bid award for? Was it bid through the usual INDOT bidding system? I can't seem to find it in the INDOT contract for the dates mentioned.
A small addition to the last comment. As you can see, it was a lovely day to say goodbye.
I went to visit an old friend today. The trees have turned from green to brown and so has my friend. Unlike the trees the chances are the Cedar Grove Bridge will never be green again. There is a contract out for the bridges destruction before the spring comes.
The bridge was built following the March 1913 flood that washed away so many bridges in the mid-west. The Whitewater, being a particular flood hazard was hard hit and most of the bridges south of Connersville dated from about 1913 because they were replacements for those lost in that flood. The remains of a concrete arch bridge that was less than a year old when the flood washed it away can still be seen in the river south of Brookville Dam at State Road 1. This was the result of a flood 19 feet above flood stage which cost many lives in the Whitewater Valley.
The bridges built after the flood will soon be gone with little to mark their passing. But Cedar Grove Bridge like most of the others carried every load ask of them and if they became too feeble to remain it was not their failure, the was the failure of the people who were responsible for maintaining them. Go and look now at the bridge which replaced it! Less than 20 years old and needing major repairs. The pier on the new bridge has re-bar exposed at water level. There are pictures at http://www.franklincountyguide.com/Cedar-Grove-Bridge.html .
I have pictures to share but to save work most will be posted in the main site.
In light of the bad condition of the columns I expect that the only reason the bridge is still standing is the falling value of scrap. Scrap steel prices took a big hit this summer and some operators are just waiting for a better price.
I had once hoped for the restoration of this bridge but having to go from the ground up with new piers as well as floor and sway bracing is just more than could be expected I think.
Any late breaking news on this bridge.
Bridge companies would often buy steel from whomever they could obtain the best price. It is not uncommon to see more than one steel company stamp on a span. I noted 3 on this one: (pics 11-13)
While this bridge was built by The Indiana Bridge Company of Muncie Indiana in 1914, some of the steel is marked Jones & Laughlin. Did all the steel come from Pittsburgh PA?
This bridge is slated for demolition in 2015
please fix this big bridge up and re-open it!!!!
What a great idea. I was thinking I had no idea how to do this but teaming up with classic cars could be fun. I once did a road race in Colorado with Millie Magner. That name just came to me. 30 years ago.
You have lots of support in Indiana but if you need an estimate and scope of work let us know.
Julie at Workin' Bridges
Road Rally coming to Cedar Grove Indiana: Check this unique bridge fundraising rally out: http://thebridgehunter.areavoices.com/2012/09/25/rally-to-sa...
"Also the next most direct route is via River Road and that uses a bridge that, while short does not appear give much confidence about either it's strength or longevity."
This is Campground Road Bridge, (BH 16148) which was built in 1905 and listed as functionally obsolete, with a 16 ton limit.
Since the late 1990's the Indiana DOT and the Franklin County highway department have been at odds about the section of old State Road 1 that crosses the Whitewater River at Cedar Grove. The two concerns are the bridge and the section of the highway parallel to the river opposite Cedar Grove. It was IDOT's preference that Franklin Co. choose to accept ownership for the highway OR the bridge. The highway is unstable and requires repair on a continuing basis because of landslides. I have posted pictures of the segment of highway involved. There are also some smaller bridges which need maintaining on this route.
Access to Graf Road is the goal and that would be better served by the bridge as the route to US-52 is much shorter via the bridge. Another factor that was brought up in 1998 was that the bridge was not considered in providing emergency services because it was posted at 10 tons. That seems contrived because most emergency traffic is well under 10 tons such as police and paramedic vehicles. Beyond that the weight limit would, without a doubt be raised if the bridge received a proper renovation. Also the next most direct route is via River Road and that uses a bridge that, while short does not appear give much confidence about either it's strength or longevity.
It is a shame that an argument between the IDOT and Franklin County appears to be the driving factor in the loss of this river crossing. It appears that Franklin Co. wants the state to pay for any repairs or renovations before they will take responsibility for any of this highway and the state is determined to dump any problems on the county as cheaply as they can. The people of Graf Road would like a short route into town but there aren't enough of them to carry much weight. The area is becoming more and more one of tourism and recreation and weekend retreats and the bridge is a part of the atmosphere and charm of the area that those who see it each day somehow become blind to. Demolition or even removal for reuse would be a sad attack on the character of the valley.
I included a second photo of the telephone cable that uses the bridge. I was informed that it is active and it will need to be rerouted at some expense if the bridge comes down.
Webmaster's note: The photos that were here have been incorporated into the main site.
Although I suppose the bridge would be better reused, I feel that the setting of the bridge is as important as the steel and wood. The thought of the bridge moving leaves me cold. I'm wondering if the real problem is that the property owner on the town side wants old state road 1 closed so they can continue using it as their private lane and parking area.
By the way the bridge is still in use supporting a telephone cable. Also the road on the north side of the river is on unstable ground and in need of major repair. The bridge would eliminate the need to maintain that road, if the bridge were reopened.
I'm sorry I missed the meeting! This is one of the first bridges that I "came across" that got me hooked! Feel free to update me via email on any happenings with this bridge. Any work that is done to rehab this bridge would only help people. It will give many people many hours of work, and that's how this country is made! Save our history first, regret is for losers!
I'm glad! I delayed my return to California to attend the meeting Monday. There were about eight there including the Indot rep. and a reporter from the Brookville newspaper.
The Indiana DHPA has tabled a decision for granting INDOT permission to demolish this bridge for 6 months.
A victory for now.....but the daunting task of finding a group to take over and reuse this impressive landmark has begun.
Ed says, (Do police cars and paramedic trucks really weigh 10 tons?)
I dunno - how close is the nearest doughnut shop?
It's not going down without a fight Ed!
There is a meeting scheduled for Monday-noon at the bridge. Indiana Landmarks is spearheading this and is hoping that many supporters will turn out. I have a work conflict and unfortunately will not be able to attend but many of my colleagues will be there.
At the least they are hoping to get the planned demolition postponed for several months to be able to formulate a plan for reuse of the historic bridge. A representative from INDOT is supposed to be there to answer why they feel it is necessary to spend a large amount of money unnecessarily for this when the economy is still soft.
I have visited the bridge twice in the past 3 years and it is in no danger of collapse. Apparently there is one landowner that is pushing for this to happen.
So, anyone that reads this and is able to attend the meeting on Monday......please do!
It appears that the Indiana DOT has been trying to get rid of this bridge since State road 1 was realigned. In March, 1998 they announced plans to remove the bridge as they could not get Franklin County to take it over and could not justify the cost of restoring the deck and painting the bridge. Because of it's 10 ton limit it was not used by emergency vehicles. (Do police cars and paramedic trucks really weigh 10 tons?)
So it appears the last traditional truss bridge in the historic and scenic Whitewater valley of Indiana will fall victim of a squabble between state and county officials.
The costs for the re-decking was estimated in 1998 at $140,000 plus $100,000 for paint. Bridge inspector John McCrary added additional problems with the floor beams, possible scouring on the piers and even speculated that a collision could collapse a span and cost large amounts of money. The 162 to 200 vehicles per day did not justify the possible expense.
So a death sentence is on the Cedar Grove Bridge, the last of it's kind on the historic and beautiful Whitewater.
Webmaster's note: The photos that were here have been incorporated into the main site.
One of the most picturesque places in Indiana is the Whitewater River Valley. It has the historic canal town of Metamora and is one of the favorite places for canoing on the West Branch. The east branch has Whitewater State Park and Brookville Reservoir. From Connersville 17 miles south the Whitewater Valley Railroad (A tourist line) runs weekend excursions along the 'Canal Route' to carry visitors to Metamora and it's section of operating canal. The valley even has reminders of the Indian culture with mounds at Laural and Mound Haven.
At one time only two decades ago the valley was dominated by truss bridges that added to the historic feel of the area and established a feeling of place. Thirty four bridges cross the Whitewater south of US 40. Many are recent bridges such as the I-74, I-275, Veterans Memorial Drive the new SR 1 bridge north of Cedar Grove and the two causeways across Brookville Reservoir. The SR 44 bridge at Connersville went straight from covered bridge to concrete and then that bridge was replaced with concrete. That takes the count of historic bridges to 25. Most of the important bridges of these were truss bridges of some type.
Not too long ago it was hard to imagine traveling in the Whitewater Valley without crossing a truss bridge. Today there are two. The five span Parker on Indiana State Highway 46 is the only one open. The camelback at Cedar Grove has been closed for more than two years and there is no clear future for it. That's it. Every other bridge has gone to UCB. Gone are New Trenton, Metamora, Laural, Nulltown, Waterloo, Milton, Abington, 7th Street Bridge and others I'm sure I missed. The 1990's were hard times.
It seems like we could save the two we have left and most importantly of all the Cedar Grove bridge. That way we can remember how the Whitewater should look.
I may have messed up on this bridge. It is probably the one of the only ones of this type that has ever been around here. I heard the late New Trenton Bridge was actually a three-span Pratt through truss. Again, I hope this bridge can be preserved. I'd say the best time of year to take a picture would be fall or winter when there are no leaves.
This fine old two span bridge sits on the old stretch of SR 1 on the south side of Cedar Grove. It has tubular center piers which I don't know if they're steel or concrete.The closure is probably another case of where the county did not want to maintain the bridges use for vehicles anymore. The only thing I saw wrong was some of the lengthwise planking was missing. The weight limit at the time of the closure was ten tons. I just hope the county does not take after nearby Ohio with bad demolition cases. There were apparently a few more bridges of this type in the area and only this one survives. There must have been a twin structure at New Trenton which fell into disrepair and was torn down in 1992. I think this bridge is still good and strong to where it could be restored rather easily. It would be a great project to save a bridge like this if only it could happen.