4 votes

Cavanaugh Bridge



Photos taken October 2006 by Joshua Collins

BH Photo #109263



Lost through truss bridge over Muscatatuck River on County Road 550 West
Jackson County, Indiana, and Washington County, Indiana
Replaced by a new bridge on a new alignment and then demolished.
Future prospects
Slated for demolition and replacement. Design process began in 2010.
Built 1899; closed to traffic in Sept. 2005
- Lafayette Bridge Co. of Lafayette, Indiana
Pin-connected, 10-panel Pratt through truss
Length of largest span: 173.8 ft.
Total length: 179.1 ft.
Deck width: 16.0 ft.
Vertical clearance above deck: 16.9 ft.
Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on December 19, 2007
Also called
Old County Bridge #195
Approximate latitude, longitude
+38.76333, -86.13639   (decimal degrees)
38°45'48" N, 86°08'11" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
16/575030/4290867 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Average daily traffic (as of 2013)
Inventory numbers
INNBI 3600130 (Indiana bridge number on the National Bridge Inventory)
NRHP 07001280 (National Register of Historic Places reference number)
BH 16346 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection report (as of May 2013)
Overall condition: Poor
Substructure condition rating: Poor (4 out of 9)
Deck condition rating: Critical (2 out of 9)
Sufficiency rating: 23.3 (out of 100)
View more at BridgeReports.com

Update Log 

  • February 15, 2011: Updated by Nathan Holth: This bridge is now doomed.
  • March 29, 2010: New photos from J.P.
  • April 1, 2009: New photo from Anthony Dillon
  • March 20, 2009: Updated by Joshua Collins
  • June 24, 2008: Updated by Anthony Dillon: Builder
  • October 8, 2007: Posted photos from Joshua Collins



Cavanaugh Bridge
Posted March 23, 2015, by Jeff Anderson (andersonj [at] franklinschools [dot] org)

THE bridge is no more. It has been completely taken down and a new bridge is currently being constructed just 100 yds.west.

Cavanaugh Bridge
Posted January 3, 2014, by Todd Campbell (campbellrus1965 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

The old iron bridge is looking very worn and many of the wood floor planks are gone. It hasn't been safe to walk across for some time now. I own the small cabin property on the south (Washington County) side of the river that is just west of this old bridge. I've taken many dives off that bridge in the summer into the cool muddy Muscatatuck. My family and I miss the sound of traffic as vehicles rolled across the wooden planks. The rumbling sound was a shock to those that visited and were not used to hearing it, but to us, we always looked to see who we were going to wave at as they crossed into Washington County. Some of the large farm equipment that came across during harvesting time in the fall took up the entire width of that old bridge, but she held them anyway. I have not been contacted by Jackson County's Road Department as to when the bridge is to be removed. My understanding is that a new bridge is to be installed a short distance down stream. If anyone has more information, please let me know.

Cavanaugh Bridge
Posted March 12, 2011, by Tom Hoffman (tehoffm [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Incredible Extreme Crumminess to remove this bridge! This bridge is the like the last one of the through trusses across the Muscatatuck and in such a great setting for a historic bridge. I know there are homes in the area, but it should be mandatory to disassemble and at least store for awhile instead of tear down a truss bridge with this such historic significance if its in the way. It would look alot better with the bridge restored for traffic in place since this road is little used. The SR135 bridge is not far away. This longer span Pratt truss design is becoming more rare and there will be a permanent eyesore once they are all gone.

Cavanaugh Bridge
Posted February 15, 2011, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

From the notes in the Historic Bridge Inventory:

Response from INDOT's March 2009 request to bridge owner to declare intent to re-open this closed bridge: County intends to replace bridge.

Cavanaugh Bridge
Posted July 14, 2010, by DICK MUIR (dickmuir [at] yahoo [dot] com)

I replaced many such bridges and it pained me but the old bridges could not handle the traffic load and width.

My County was Jackson,in Mionnesota most of the above type were over the Des Moines River ans smaller streams, No covered bridges in my county.Nice photos,it made smile as I kept photo books for many years as part of my annual inspection.

Cavanaugh Bridge
Posted January 26, 2009, by Rhonda Scott (rhondascott_mammy04)

I was very surprised to run across this picture and article on the Cavanaugh bridge! I was raised close to this bridge, maybe 1/4 mile from it. I can't count the times I have walked to the bridge and just stood and looked up and down the river. They used to hang dummies from the top of the bridge at halloween. My brother got into big trouble once because my parents found out that he climbed to the top of it! One of my childhood friends & school mates drowned in the river close to this bridge, he became tangled in fishing line and it took him under. I remember one time my mom and several of us were going to Medora, it was a little slick and when we went to turn onto the bridge she couldn't turn and a big rock on the side stopped us from going over.

I also hated to see them close this bridge and I hope they do fix it or preserve it and build another someday soon.

Muscatatuck River Bridge
Posted August 12, 2007, by Anonymous

The Cavanaugh bridge was closed recently due to deck supports and floor beams being in bad shape. It is in a nice wooded setting stretching across the river. I hope it gets restored or preserved rather than torn down.