Rating:
13 votes

Iron Bridge Road Bridge

Photos 

East Face of Bridge

Photo taken by James McCray

Enlarge

BH Photo #140292

Map 

Street View 

Video 

Patoka River CR 650 Bridge

Mike Daffron

Play video on YouTube

Description 

Research by Dr. James Cooper has uncovered the significance of this unique structure. The design is referred to as "Iron Arch #1" by the Smith Bridge Company and is the only known remaining example of this type. The erection of this span was left to noteworthy Southern Indiana bridge builder William T. Washer of Troy in Perry County. He built a number of covered bridges using both his unique Burr trusses as well as building some Smith truss spans as an agent for that company. It is also documented that he built metal spans using Indiana Bridge Company trusses, and now we can add Smith iron trusses to the mix.

Facts 

Overview
Bowstring pony truss bridge over Patoka River on CR 650 East
Location
Pike County, Indiana
Status
Intact but closed to all traffic
History
Built in 1875 by William T. Washer using the Smith Bridge Company's "Iron Arch #1 Design".
Builders
- Smith Bridge Co. of Toledo, Ohio (Design and Fabrication)
- William T. Washer (Abutments and Erection)
Design
Wrought iron bowstring pony truss.
Reinforced with load bearing beams.
Dimensions
Length of largest span: 87.9 ft.
Total length: 99.1 ft.
Deck width: 10.2 ft.
Recognition
Eligible for the National Register of Historic Places
Also called
Pike County Bridge #150
CR 650 E - Patoka River Bridge
Survant Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+38.37250, -87.15500   (decimal degrees)
38°22'21" N, 87°09'18" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
16/486460/4247157 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Augusta
Average daily traffic (as of 2015)
81
Inventory numbers
INNBI 6300101 (Indiana bridge number on the National Bridge Inventory)
BH 16856 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection report (as of April 2017)
Overall condition: Poor
Superstructure condition rating: Poor (4 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Satisfactory (6 out of 9)
Deck condition rating: Poor (4 out of 9)
Sufficiency rating: 14.4 (out of 100)
View more at BridgeReports.com

Update Log 

  • October 12, 2020: New photos from Garrett DiDomizio
  • October 10, 2020: New photos from Grant DiDomizio
  • August 16, 2020: New photos from Melissa Brand-Welch
  • August 9, 2020: New photos from Mike Daffron
  • September 28, 2019: New photos from Mike Daffron
  • July 25, 2019: New photo from Melissa Brand-Welch
  • October 29, 2017: Updated by Clark Vance: Added category "Cruciform Outriggers"
  • October 28, 2017: New video from Mike Daffron
  • December 1, 2016: Updated by Mike Daffron: Added County bridge number
  • January 18, 2016: New photos from Mike Daffron
  • September 23, 2013: Updated by Tony Dillon: Added correct date and builder for this rare and special bridge.
  • October 21, 2011: Updated by J.P.: removed builder due to new info that was given to me, stating that Indiana Bridge Company was most likely not the builder.
  • April 15, 2010: New Street View added by J.P.
  • March 5, 2010: Updated by J.P.: updated builder
  • May 14, 2009: New photos from James McCray
  • May 12, 2009: Updated by J.P.
  • May 9, 2009: New photos from J.P.
  • March 9, 2009: Updated by Anthony Dillon

Sources 

  • Tony Dillon - spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com
  • J.P. - wildcatjon2000 [at] gmail [dot] com
  • James McCray - jamesinslocomb [at] yahoo [dot] com
  • Melissa Brand-Welch - melissabrandwelch [at] msn [dot] com
  • Historicbridges.org - by Nathan Holth
  • Mike Daffron - daffmikron [at] gmail [dot] com
  • Grant DiDomizio - grantdidomizio [at] gmail [dot] com
  • Garrett DiDomizio - garrettdidomizio [at] gmail [dot] com

Comments 

Iron Bridge Road Bridge
Posted October 10, 2020, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

I'm not overly fond of the intended location... But yes, I will be happy to have it safe and see it without all the added junk!

Iron Bridge Road Bridge
Posted October 10, 2020, by Garrett DiDomizio (garrettdidomizio [at] gmail [dot] com)

Very interesting bridge to see. It is a very unique environment and I love it for its historic value and its relation to the notable William T Washer. I hope the county does save it for some future use.

Iron Bridge Road Bridge
Posted October 10, 2020, by Nathan Holth (webmaster [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

Grant,

I think there has been some holdup on this project due to railroad permitting. But do not worry, the bridge will look better than ever after its restoration!

Iron Bridge Road Bridge
Posted October 10, 2020, by Grant DiDomizio (grantdidomizio [at] gmail [dot] com)

Went on a late night drive to pay our respects to the bridge. It hasnít been removed yet, but guardrails have been placed on either side to stop entry as well as some of the treads being ripped up. I love the scenery and peaceful setting of the bridge. I hope that whatever is done next will help to restore this bridge to its former glory. It is truly a sight!

Iron Bridge Road Bridge
Posted August 16, 2020, by Melissa Brand-Welch (melissabrandwelch [at] msn [dot] com)

Mike, I certainly hope so !

Iron Bridge Road Bridge
Posted August 16, 2020, by Mike Daffron (daffmikron [at] gmail [dot] com)

That sucks. I imagine it is getting prepped for it's move to Petersburg.

Iron Bridge Road Bridge
Posted August 16, 2020, by Melissa Brand-Welch (melissabrandwelch [at] msn [dot] com)

Field visited today. Road was marked closed. We drove down to the bridge and found it closed.

Iron Bridge Road Bridge
Posted August 9, 2020, by Melissa Brand-Welch (melissabrandwelch [at] msn [dot] com)

Awesome photos!

Iron Bridge Road Bridge
Posted August 9, 2020, by Mike Daffron (daffmikron [at] gmail [dot] com)

My dad sez that any bridge that was around their area, they got pictures at. Unfortunately, they can't remember where most of them were. This one is pretty obvious. My mom grew up just a few miles away from it.

CR 650 E - Patoka River Bridge
Posted July 1, 2020, by Melissa Brand-Welch (melissabrandwelch [at] msn [dot] com)

This is still on my list to see !

CR 650 E - Patoka River Bridge
Posted July 1, 2020, by Mike Daffron (daffmikron [at] gmail [dot] com)

Alright Grant!! Great to see you having a good time checking out some of the goodies around the state!

CR 650 E - Patoka River Bridge
Posted June 30, 2020, by Grant DiDomizio (grantdidomizio [at] gmail [dot] com)

Spectacular bridge! Reminds me closely of Boner Bridge in nearby warrick county. When visited in March 2020, the road was nearly flooded and water was rushing! I would suggest reviewing flood stages before going to see this bridge.

CR 650 E - Patoka River Bridge
Posted July 28, 2019, by Mike Daffron (daffmikron [at] gmail [dot] com)

Oh Yes! Awesome pic!!!

CR 650 E - Patoka River Bridge
Posted July 28, 2019, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

And you know how excited I was that you found that photo!

My vote for "Historical Photo of the Year"!

CR 650 E - Patoka River Bridge
Posted July 28, 2019, by Melissa Brand-Welch (melissabrandwelch [at] msn [dot] com)

I was excited to find this photo!

CR 650 E - Patoka River Bridge
Posted July 25, 2019, by Mike Daffron (daffmikron [at] gmail [dot] com)

I highly recommend visiting it in it's home spot before it is relocated. Beautiful. And yay for saving it!

CR 650 E - Patoka River Bridge
Posted July 25, 2019, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

This amazing photo that Melissa found during her research shows the bridge a few years before all of the extra steel was added to it. While the added bracing and load-carrying beams undoubtedly saved this treasured landmark from certain destruction, it has long hidden just how spectacular this span really is! Hopefully a planned move to a park location will allow all of the added parts to be removed so the real beauty can shine through!

Patoka River Bridge CR 650 E
Posted October 28, 2017, by Mike Daffron (daffmikron [at] gmail [dot] com)

Oh yeah, by the way, this is one of Indiana's treasures. The setting with the railroad track winding with the Patoka River is awesome! It's like transporting back in time.

Patoka River Bridge CR 650 E
Posted October 28, 2017, by Mike Daffron (daffmikron [at] gmail [dot] com)

I don't know what the status of this move is. I hope Pike County gets it together (no sign that this will happen) and keeps the bridge put.

Patoka River Bridge
Posted August 15, 2016, by ArtS (asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)

The bridge is being replaced and will likely be moved to a park:

http://www.thebraziltimes.com/story/2330309.html

Patoka River Bridge
Posted January 18, 2016, by Mike Daffron (daffronmike [at] yahoo [dot] com)

My mom tells me she has an article from the Pike County newspaper reporting that this beauty will be moved to Petersburg and will replace the "PCCHARGERS" bridge. Will locate the story. Visited this bridge on Friday Jan 15, raining and nasty out, BUT bridge still cool! used to go to Pike State Forest and this bridge a lot when I was a kid.

Patoka River Bridge
Posted September 23, 2013, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

I have uploaded James L. Cooper's outstanding report that at long last revealed the unknown history and significance of this bridge to the world on my page for this bridge:

http://www.historicbridges.org/bridges/browser/?bridgebrowse...

Direct link to the article:

http://www.historicbridges.org/indiana/patoka650/jamescooper...

Patoka River Bridge
Posted September 23, 2013, by Tom Hoffman (tehoffm [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Wow, I had no clue William T Washer build iron truss bridges as well. Just knew he built lots of covered bridges in Southwestern Indiana. Is this the only one of his metal truss bridges still standing?

Patoka River Bridge
Posted July 6, 2009, by Anthony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

This is a special bridge! If you look at picture #14 up close you will see the original (small) outriggers that tie into the unique ribbon-laced floor beams. The upper chord is composed of two channels that are also ribbon-laced together. In the 1970's the large outriggers as well as heavier floor beams were added to strengthen it. These may well have kept the bridge from being destroyed, but it would be great to see this beauty restored to it's original condition. This bridge (to my knowledge) is one-of-a-kind and the builder remains a mystery.