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Flatrock River IN 9 Bridge


South end

Photo taken by Anthony Dillon in April 2010


BH Photo #160370

Street View 


Lost Parker through truss bridge over Flatrock River on IN 9
Shelby County, Indiana
Replaced after INDOT had initially planned to preserve it.
Built ca. 1940; rehabilitated 1978; Replaced 2013
- Indiana Department of Transportation (Designers)
- J.R.Gates (Contractor)
Riveted Parker through truss
Length of largest span: 149.9 ft.
Total length: 304.7 ft.
Deck width: 27.9 ft.
Vertical clearance above deck: 14.3 ft.
Eligible for the National Register of Historic Places
Approximate latitude, longitude
+39.39420, -85.75716   (decimal degrees)
39°23'39" N, 85°45'26" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
16/607021/4361260 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Lewis Creek
Average daily traffic (as of 2004)
Inventory numbers
INNBI 002410 (Indiana bridge number on the National Bridge Inventory)
BH 17018 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection report (as of April 2013)
Overall condition: Poor
Superstructure condition rating: Serious (3 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Serious (3 out of 9)
Deck condition rating: Satisfactory (6 out of 9)
Sufficiency rating: 31.3 (out of 100)
View more at BridgeReports.com

Update Log 

  • December 10, 2020: New photo from Ed Hollowell
  • May 2, 2013: Updated by Nathan Holth: This bridge has been demolished.
  • March 27, 2013: Updated by Nathan Holth: Demolition project begins next month.
  • April 2, 2010: New photos from Anthony Dillon
  • February 27, 2010: Updated by Anthony Dillon: Added truss type



Flatrock River IN 9 Bridge
Posted December 10, 2020, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

I think it was just to the West near where the waterfall/dam remains from the old Cave Mill.

Flatrock River IN 9 Bridge
Posted December 10, 2020, by Tom Hoffman

I believe the old covered bridge may have been on different road alignment to the west around a mile. Then the Parker truss was built on the brand new alignment of State Road 9. The covered bridge had to have been removed and not replaced in its exact location. This is from some other source I think I've read. Thanks for finding the photo Ed.

Flatrock River IN 9 Bridge
Posted June 16, 2013, by Brad Lain

luckily i had gotten a part that had fallen off this Big Bridge to have something to remember it by

Flatrock River Shelby County HWY 9 Bridge
Posted June 16, 2013, by BRAD LAIN

When someone tears down a Big ridge without the plans of putting it to use where traffic can use it , it gives me the same feeling as if some one were to do something to take advantage of me because they are both nonsense and unfair . That Big Bridge Needed to Be Rehabilitated and Painted , Not torn Down. now if there was nothing fancy about it , then it would not make me any difference if it got torn down or left where it was . But that Big Bridge was so beautiful and fancy that it should have stayed put where it was , or moved to another area where it can still be used .i just hope no one tears down the Big Briges across the WhiteWater River on HWY 46 where it starts at the Ohio / Ind state line. There are 5 Big Bridges there in a row which is the most I had ever seen in one place. second most i have seen is four Big Bridges is on HWY 50 in Brownstown across White River and on HWY 52 in Franklin County by Brookville across the Whitewater River third most I have seen in a Row is just 2 which is how many there was where the Flat Rock River crossed HWY 9 and where Sand Creek crosses HWY 31 at the Bartholomew and Jackson County Line in IND and where Clifty Crek Crossed HWY 7 where there was 2 Big Bridges , these beautiful Big Bridges need to NOT betorn down and just keep them beautiful nd nice looking - they are a magnificent work of art and i get such an excited and thrilling feeling like i am on a roller coaster when i go through a Big Bridge- i get a tingling feeling when i go across one and i feel like i should scream for joy like people do when they ride on a roller coaster when i go across a Big Bridge but i am like ( blah ) and ( this is not right) and ( this is totally unfair ) whenever i see that a big Bridge has been replaced with one of those eyesore concrete bridges

Flatrock River IN 9 Bridge
Posted June 16, 2013, by BRAD LAIN

THINK - THINK - THINK!!! before destroying a beautiful steel / iron big bridge if it is going to get torn down because it is too narrow --- then it just only simply needs widened ( not torn down ) tearing it down is going waaay too far - they need to instead widen it by 1st building a temporary bridge next to it - then bring / haul in more steel and then split the Big Bridge in 1/2 an then weld the big bridg together an then have it double in size and go from double lane to a Quad lane big bridge --- then re-open it when it is completed - so in otherwords length wise , it would be the same length side to side or right to left ad the Big Bridges down on the Ohio River ( only not nearly as long mile wise - i don't want one of those eyesore concrete bridges there where I cannot see the river when I cross it , now when they do senselessly get this Big Bridge torn down - thre will not be any Big Bridges on HWY 9 going from Bartholomew County to Lagrange County which covers more than 1/2 of the state, i think people need to either start making more Big Bridges an make them Quad Lanes when they are made thn they wont be so crowded - but when we would drive across the Big Bridge - It was not ever crowded since it was not in town ut i would not be so irritated when a Big Bridge gets torn down if the country and state would build more at the same speed as they get torn down and replace it with a better and nicer Big Bridge instead of replacing it with one of those eyesore Concrete bridges ( what i call a Big Bridge is if it is a Steel / Iron / Covered Bridge that is alot taller than a car, but the only thing i saw that the big bridge needed across Flat Rock River on HWY 9 in Shelby County was it just needed painted -but it was not even in te Columbus Republic Newspaper that it was going to get torn down and people drive everyday from Shelbyville to Columbus IND on HWY 9 to and from work so as far as i knew of - i didn't know that the Big Bridge was going to get torn down until I was going on U.S HWY 31 and saw the detour signs for the Big Bridge being torn down. I dont know why people don't restore these Big Brdges since people are not building them anymore . i cannot stand it when i see an Iron, Steel and a covered Bridge torn down unless it is going to be built somewhere else just like they did the Big Bridge across Clifty Creek on 850E in Bartholomew County and moved it to Haw Creek to use as a walking Bridge

Flatrock River IN 9 Bridge
Posted May 2, 2013, by Jim Grey (mobilene [at] gmail [dot] com)

A couple of INDOT photos of the demo. :-(

Flatrock River IN 9 Bridge
Posted May 1, 2013, by J.P. (wildcatjon2000 [at] gmail [dot] com)

So tired of seeing these bridges taken down.

Flatrock River IN 9 Bridge
Posted April 30, 2013, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

INDOT did a complete about-face on this one. After deciding to rehabilitate instead of replace, a certain district chief with way too much power decided to raise a stink. Apparently he had an issue with the vertical clearance being just a couple inches under guidelines...DESPITE the fact that said clearance had already been deemed acceptable.

So another completely serviceable state highway Parker truss bites the dust. And although I won't give this award to INDOT as a whole, to that one gentleman who thinks he knows more than the rest of us... Here's to you!

Todd Baslee photo

Flatrock River IN 9 Bridge
Posted April 30, 2013, by Chris Gonnerman (chris [at] gonnerman [dot] org)

A friend sent me demolition pictures of this bridge; apparently it's being taken down right now.

Flatrock River IN 9 Bridge
Posted November 20, 2012, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

INDOT Contract listings show a contract for removal and replacement of this bridge. I assume the below discussion of rehabilitation or storage was just fanciful dreams, and the contract is the dose of typical reality?

Flatrock River IN 9 Bridge
Posted October 19, 2009, by Tom Hoffman (tehoffm [at] hotmail [dot] com)

This bridge still stands as of 10/09. There were articles talking of disassembly and storage years ago. I would hate to see the two spans separated and receive different homes. The bridge has not been painted in years and has taken a daily beating from dump trucks. It is not tremendously narrow and is in a neat setting with a dam to the east. My grandparents used to live near the bridge and I always rode across as a kid. There was a neat Parker truss in nearby Geneva on Vandalia Road which was lost in the mid 80s. There was also a one-lane two-span Pratt on SR 252 west of Flatrock with a pony truss over Lewis Creek to the west which were both lost around 1990.