Rating:
3 votes

Big Jim Bridge

Photos 

Photo taken by Anthony Dillon

Enlarge

BH Photo #125366

Map 

Street Views 

Description 

This bridge was originally built as a two-span structure over Sugar Creek in Montgomery County near Crawfordsville. When it was to be replaced, one span was moved to span Lye Creek in the Northeast part of the county. After sitting abandoned for many years, it was given to the city of Indianapolis for trail use over the Central Canal.

Facts 

Overview
Bowstring pony truss bridge over Central Canal on trail behind Indianapolis Museum of Art in Indianapolis
Location
Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana
Status
Renovated and reopened for pederstrians
History
Originally built in 1873 in Montgomery County, moved to Marion County
Builder
- King Bridge Co. of Cleveland, Ohio
Design
Wrought iron Bowstring pony truss
Dimensions
Span length: 87.0 ft.
Total length: 87.0 ft.
Also called
Blair Ford Bridge (Original)
Approximate latitude, longitude
+39.82745, -86.18684   (decimal degrees)
39°49'39" N, 86°11'13" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
16/569585/4408922 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Indianapolis West
Inventory number
BH 37495 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • October 10, 2016: Updated by Christopher Finigan: Added category "Wrought Iron"
  • July 10, 2014: New photos from Andrew Raker
  • July 9, 2014: New photos from Andrew Raker
  • October 12, 2013: New Street View added by Brent Tindall
  • December 30, 2012: New photos from J.P.
  • June 27, 2010: New photos from Anthony Dillon
  • June 26, 2010: Updated by Anthony Dillon: Renovation complete
  • May 9, 2010: Updated by Anthony Dillon: Updated status, bridge is being renovated.
  • October 2, 2008: Added by Anthony Dillon

Sources 

Comments 

Big Jim Bridge
Posted June 26, 2010, by Anthony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Well Nathan, I HAD many more pictures of this span before the recent renovation......and learned the hard way to back up your photos as I lost them all in a hard drive crash.

I was really happy to see this bridge being changed as the black railings were nothing short of distracting. I will try to make it over there soon for some new pics.

Big Jim Bridge
Posted June 25, 2010, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

It sounds like the new railings are better. Does anyone have portal views of this bridge showing it before with the black vertical railings and after with grey horizontal cable railings? I was consulting someone on a historic bridge and we were discussing the replacement of similar railings on a bridge with cable railings. Would be interested to see the comparison here.

Big Jim Bridge
Posted June 25, 2010, by Steve Suiter (sjsuiter [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Status needs to be changed Tony My Friend. My bad, should have posted that in the last comment that the bridge has been reopened, and changed for the better in my opinion.

Big Jim Bridge
Posted June 25, 2010, by Steve Suiter (sjsuiter [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Was recently at the art museum to check out their new Art Park, don't ask, was not impressed. Shame I didn't have my camera with me as this bridge has seen some changes.

The black safety rails are gone and replaced with gray colored rails with what looked like cable horizontally instead of the black bars.

Might check on that Tony, and next time I'm down there, might remember to take mom's sony digital with me.

Big Jim Bridge
Posted August 28, 2009, by Steve Suiter (sjsuiter [at] hotmail [dot] com)

I am originally from Montgomery County Indiana, and I was working for the art museum when we got this bridge. Interesting thing about this bridge, I was on site the day they removed it from it's creek location in Montgomery. Was neat watching them treat something so old so carefully, like they were actually caring for it.

I too didn't really care for the black rails, but the museum was so safety conscious, they really couldn't put the bridge in place without them. Even though the canal at that point is only a couple of feet deep.

Big Jim Bridge
Posted October 3, 2008, by Anthony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Wayne

Thanks for your comments on this and the Harris Ford Bridge. My only complaint on this bridge is the massive black railing that obstructs the view of the trusses from the inside. I took these pictures about 3 years ago, and at that time there was some talk about redoing them. I have not made it back to follow up. But regardless, I'm happy not to see this bridge abandoned and sitting in the weeds.

I have another bridge to add that was placed just up the canal. A beautiful bedstead from 1879 called the Lye Creek Bridge. Look for it soon.

Thanks again!

Tony

Big Jim Bridge
Posted October 3, 2008, by Wayne Kizziar (wayne1701 [at] cableone [dot] net)

Another beauty saved, very nice photography.