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Severn's Bridge - Older

Photos 

Severn's Bridge - Older

Alice Roberson via Princeton Daily Clarion: February 13 1974

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BH Photo #442777

Map 

Description 

In December 1906, bids were taken for a modern iron bridge to replace the wooden bridge across the Patoka River. By September 1907, construction had started by the Vincennes Bridge Company. The bridge collapsed in August 1908 before officially opening. Multiple lawsuits were filed. In December 1908 Indiana Bridge Company was awarded the contract to build the replacement bridge. That bridge opened in February 1909 and has been beautifully restored. In August 1909, debris from the collapsed bridge was causing problems in the river and was finally removed later that year.

Facts 

Overview
Lost Bridge over Patoka River on Old IN 65
Location
Gibson County, Indiana
Status
Collapsed. Replaced by new bridge.
History
Built 1907. Lost 1908.
Builder
- Vincennes Bridge Co. of Vincennes, Indiana
Design
Polygonal Warren pony truss with alternating verticals
Approximate latitude, longitude
+38.39185, -87.54911   (decimal degrees)
38°23'31" N, 87°32'57" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
16/452047/4249435 (zone/easting/northing)
Inventory number
BH 84254 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • February 4, 2019: Updated by Tony Dillon: After a closer look at the picture, this was a polygonal Warren pony truss.
  • January 22, 2019: Added by Melissa Brand-Welch

Related Bridges 

Sources 

Comments 

Severn's Bridge - Older
Posted January 22, 2019, by Melissa Brand-Welch (melissabrandwelch [at] msn [dot] com)

Yes, I will send it.

Severn's Bridge - Older
Posted January 22, 2019, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Wow! They were a really good bridge company that stayed in business until the 1950's. I would love to know if it was related to the decks as well... If so they were apparently using concrete before they fully understood how to!

If you still have that article would you email it to me please!

Severn's Bridge - Older
Posted January 22, 2019, by Melissa Brand-Welch (melissabrandwelch [at] msn [dot] com)

I read that the VBC had four bridges collapse in Pike County around this time period.

Severn's Bridge - Older
Posted January 22, 2019, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

I said a Pratt as well... My bad as the replacement IBCo span is a Warren truss.

Severn's Bridge - Older
Posted January 22, 2019, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Looks good to me! Hard to tell for sure but this was likely a Pratt through truss as well. This bridge replaced a covered bridge. Had certainly never heard about this short-lived span! Really surprised to hear about a concrete deck that early on a country span. Concrete only started being used in bridges about 1900... but that was mainly for abutments and piers. They likely didn't fully understand the curing and setting of concrete used in decks that early on. I would assume the fault would lie on the county and they would have been responsible for opening the bridge before it was signed off on.

Severn's Bridge - Older
Posted January 22, 2019, by Daniel

Interesting, I had always assumed that the concrete deck wasn't a real structural element on old iron bridges. I guess I was wrong.

Severn's Bridge - Older
Posted January 22, 2019, by Melissa Brand-Welch (melissabrandwelch [at] msn [dot] com)

Mike and Tony, please let me know if I missed anything. I saved 34 different links for documentation.