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Vandalia Bridge

Photos 

Just after the collapse

Photo taken on February 23, 1900

Enlarge

BH Photo #188270

Map 

Description 

At 2:35 p.m on February 23, 1900, the west span of the bridge collapsed due to the structure crumbling under the combined pressure of ice, the weight of Big Four Locomotive 96, and forty-nine freight cars. The train was en route to Terre Haute from Mattoon, Illinois, loaded with baled cotton, lumber, grain, paper, stove ovens, and general merchandise. Employees of the local waterworks company reported to the Terre Haute Gazette that the bridge was swaying moments before the accident. Fireman Dan Ruddell of Indianapolis died in the wreck. The missing spans were replaced with two 184 ft. Pratt through truss spans, and the entire bridge was later replaced with a plate girder bridge.

Facts 

Overview
Through truss bridge over Wabash River on former Big Four Railroad in Terre Haute
Location
Terre Haute, Vigo County, Indiana
Status
Replaced by new bridge
Railroad
- Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago & St. Louis Railway (CCC&StL; Big 4)
Design
Pin-connected Pratt through truss
Approximate latitude, longitude
+39.47272, -87.42000   (decimal degrees)
39°28'22" N, 87°25'12" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
16/463874/4369320 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Terre Haute
Inventory number
BH 47088 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • January 3, 2019: New photo from Melissa Brand-Welch
  • November 23, 2010: Added by Jacob P. Bernard

Sources