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Portland Mills Covered Bridge 14-61-21

Photos 

Overview

Photo taken Oct. 2005 by Tom Hall

BH Photo #102924

Map 

Description 

Originally built over Big Raccoon Creek at the village of Portland Mills, this bridge was scheduled for demolition in 1961 with the formation of Cecil M. Harden Lake. The bridge was spared that fate when it was decided to move it to the site of the Dooley Station Covered Bridge that had been destroyed by arson the previous year. Unfortunately the secluded location and a lack of maintenance contributed to the bridge falling into disrepair. After being closed to traffic and surviving an arson attempt of it's own plans were made to restore the bridge. Although one of the portals collapsed, the truss members remained intact and the bridge was restored in 1996.

Facts 

Overview
Covered bridge over Little Raccoon Creek on CR650N
Location
Parke County, Indiana
Status
Open to traffic
History
Built 1856, relocated in 1961, closed to traffic in 1982, restored and reopened in 1996
Builder
- Henry Wolf
Design
Covered Burr arch-truss
Dimensions
Length of largest span: 118.8 ft.
Total length: 144.4 ft.
Deck width: 13.8 ft.
Recognition
Posted to the National Register of Historic Places
Approximate latitude, longitude
+39.86076, -87.08916   (decimal degrees)
39°51'39" N, 87°05'21" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
16/492373/4412307 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Bellmore
Inventory numbers
INNBI 6100112 (Indiana bridge number on the National Bridge Inventory)
WGCB 14-61-21 (World Guide to Covered Bridges number)
NRHP 78000408 (National Register of Historic Places reference number)
BH 16821 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection (as of 05/2014)
Deck condition rating: Satisfactory (6 out of 9)
Superstructure condition rating: Satisfactory (6 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Good (7 out of 9)
Appraisal: Functionally obsolete
Sufficiency rating: 57.7 (out of 100)
Average daily traffic (as of 2014)
127

Update Log 

  • June 14, 2017: New photos from Tom Phelan
  • February 4, 2015: Updated by Brent Tindall: Fixed typo in description, lake name
  • August 4, 2012: Merged old and new listings
  • August 13, 2011: Updated by Jacob P. Bernard: Changed info as someone thought this bridge was renovated when it really collapsed and a replica was built
  • February 8, 2011: Updated by Anthony Dillon: Changed status as this is the original bridge and not a replica at the new location.
  • February 7, 2011: Added by Jacob P. Bernard
  • May 19, 2010: New photo from Bill Eichelberger
  • January 7, 2009: New photos from Sean Flynn
  • November 13, 2006: Posted photos from Tom Hall

Sources 

Comments 

Old Portland Mills Covered Bridge
Posted August 14, 2011, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Funny though....that picture was made into a post card that was sold to help raise the money to restore it! I have one of them somewhere.

Old Portland Mills Covered Bridge
Posted August 14, 2011, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Unfortunately, there was some confusion and misleading statements made about this bridge back then. That picture looks worse than it really was, as just the portal and overhang collapsed and the truss remained intact. The span not collapsing was a testament to how well it was built back in 1856. They only replaced what timbers they absolutely had to and strengthened some of the others, but I can assure you my friend it is mostly original.

Old Portland Mills Covered Bridge
Posted August 14, 2011, by Jacob P. Bernard (jacob_bernard [at] yahoo [dot] com)

Huh, that's odd, because everyone else says that it collapsed and a replica was built. I'm really comfused.

Old Portland Mills Covered Bridge
Posted August 14, 2011, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Yes......the portal on that end did collapse....but the bridge did not. I was just revising my statement when you posted this.

But......however, the bridge is not a replica and features most of the original timbers. I saw it as it was being rebuilt.

Old Portland Mills Covered Bridge
Posted August 14, 2011, by Jacob P. Bernard (jacob_bernard [at] yahoo [dot] com)

The bridge DID partially collapse and the rest of the timbers were used in the replica that was built.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/de/Portlandm...