12 votes

Briscoe Bridge



The Old River Road Bridge is a three span truss bridge consisting of two Kingpost approach spans and a Whipple Truss main span.

Photo taken by James McCray


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BH Photo #114449


Street View 


Through truss bridge over Little Pigeon Creek on Old River Road
Warrick County, Indiana
Restoration completed and open to traffic
Future prospects
Rehabilitated in 2012
Built 1893
- Wrought Iron Bridge Co. of Canton, Ohio
Main span: Pin-connected Whipple through truss
Approaches: Pin-connected Kingpost pony truss, one on each end
Length of largest span: 127.9 ft.
Total length: 207.0 ft.
Deck width: 15.7 ft.
Vertical clearance above deck: 16.0 ft.
Eligible for the National Register of Historic Places
Also called
Old River Road Bridge
Little Pigeon Creek CR 250W Bridge
County Bridge #271
Approximate latitude, longitude
+37.91000, -87.29556   (decimal degrees)
37°54'36" N, 87°17'44" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
16/474019/4195870 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Average daily traffic (as of 2014)
Inventory numbers
INNBI 8700123 (Indiana bridge number on the National Bridge Inventory)
BH 17196 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection report (as of August 2017)
Overall condition: Fair
Superstructure condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Satisfactory (6 out of 9)
Deck condition rating: Good (7 out of 9)
Sufficiency rating: 44.3 (out of 100)
View more at BridgeReports.com

Update Log 

  • April 17, 2018: New photos from Mike Daffron
  • August 17, 2017: Updated by Christopher Finigan: Added category "Pin-connected"
  • October 23, 2012: New photos from Matt Lohry
  • October 8, 2012: Updated by Matt Lohry: Updated status per forum post
  • September 29, 2012: Updated by Tony Dillon: Closed until rehabilitation is complete
  • September 24, 2012: New photos from Ben Tate
  • October 29, 2010: Updated by Anthony Dillon: County to rehabilitate this bridge at current site
  • March 9, 2010: Updated by Anthony Dillon: Added street view link
  • February 12, 2009: Updated by James McCray: updated future prospects
  • May 27, 2008: New photos from James McCray


  • James McCray - jamesinslocomb [at] yahoo [dot] com
  • Tony Dillon - spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com
  • Ben Tate - benji5221 [at] yahoo [dot] com
  • Matt Lohry
  • Mike Daffron - daffmikron [at] gmail [dot] com


Briscoe Bridge
Posted October 24, 2012, by Matt Lohry

I think one thing they should have done that they didn't with the restoration of this bridge is to put runner planks on the deck--it would look right with a bridge of this era, and it would make the base deck last a lot longer, as they would just have to replace the runner planks as they wear out...

Briscoe Bridge
Posted October 24, 2012, by Matt Lohry

I typically like bold colors that stand out too, but somehow, this one to me really looks right in the gray. The Boner bridge looks good in its bright red too. There are so many historic bridges in Indiana, I wish I had a month all to myself so I could visit them all! I just moved to Wisconsin from Florida, and they have one or two here and there, but nothing like the Hoosier state! Florida is just plain pitiful as far as historic bridges go, however...

Briscoe Bridge
Posted October 24, 2012, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Glad you were able to stop in Indiana and see this and the Boner span...definitely 2 of the Hoosier State's finest!

I have mixed feeling on the Grey paint as it almost looks too much like primer for my liking. I have gotten rather fond of them being done in bright Reds and Oranges. But hey, at least it IS restored and ready to go for many more years! I tip my hat to the folks in Warrick County for their efforts in saving this and the bowstring spans!

Briscoe Bridge
Posted October 23, 2012, by Matt Lohry

I got to see this beautiful bridge on my way from Florida to Wisconsin; terrific job on the restoration! The gunmetal gray color looks nice with the new wood deck.

Briscoe Bridge
Posted October 23, 2012, by T.M. (apmarino1966 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

Julie: I saw your message and set you an email to your gmail account with my contact information. Please feel free to contact me and I can give you more information about this bridge restoration project.

Briscoe Bridge
Posted October 23, 2012, by Julie Bowers (jbowerz1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

great work. who else was on your team? we at Workin' Bridges sre developing a roster of engineers, craftsmen, fabrixators to work in different states.

Briscoe Bridge
Posted October 23, 2012, by T.M. (apmarino1966 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

I visited the Briscoe Bridge again to collect some more photographs of the completed restoration project. As the structural engineer-of-record for this project, I am very pleased with the final results. Hopefully there will be many years that others will be able to enjoy and appreciate this old bridge.

Briscoe Bridge
Posted October 8, 2012, by T.M. (apmarino1966 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

Construction is complete and the Briscoe Bridge has been opened to traffic. Overall, I think that it looks nice and hopefully the public will appreciate the final product. It does not appear that the County is going to have any type of re-opening ceremony.

Briscoe Bridge
Posted September 17, 2012, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Good to hear! I figured they were taken down...hopefully just to clean and paint. It's definitely good to put new brackets up as well!

Do you know when the dedication is? A group of us from the Historic Bridge Conference will be down there on Sunday to see it.

Briscoe Bridge
Posted September 17, 2012, by T.M. (apmarino1966 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

The contractor has the bridge plaques. The hardware was nearly gone so they were temporarily taken down, and will be reinstalled prior to the official opening.

Briscoe Bridge
Posted September 16, 2012, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Well...it looks a whole lot better than it did last September when I saw it!

But where did the plaques go? Hopefully not on somebody's wall.

Briscoe Bridge
Posted September 16, 2012, by Dane S. (aimcop726 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

new paint and deck

Briscoe Bridge
Posted June 27, 2012, by Dane S (aimcop726 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

its all wrapped up like a present

Briscoe Bridge
Posted May 15, 2012, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Looking good Bob!...thank you for the update!

Glad to see the added supports have been removed as well!

Briscoe Bridge
Posted May 15, 2012, by Bob

Update: The north kingspost is repaired, looks about ready for paint and the deck.

Briscoe Bridge
Posted March 15, 2012, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

This is indeed good news that the rehabilitation has begun!

I visited the old bridge last September and found it in pretty bad shape. To my knowledge this is the only Whipple truss that is bracketed by Kingpost ponies. Along with the nearby Boner Road bowstring this will be a must-visit area.

Thanks for the update Bob!

Briscoe Bridge
Posted March 15, 2012, by Bob

I checked on the bridge today for the first time this year, nobody around but signs of progress. The damaged king post was taken apart and some of the railings removed. I'm hoping they will remove the support and make the north king post functional again.

Briscoe Bridge
Posted November 16, 2011, by T.M. (apmarino1966 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

INDOT's construction website shows that the contract to rehabilitate this bridge has been let and the apparent low bidder has been identified. I think that once all the contractural procedures have been reviewed, work should begin on this bridge shortly.

Briscoe Bridge
Posted October 21, 2011, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Can't wait to see it restored!

I saw it in September and it is in terrible shape right now. Have some pics taken in bad weather that show some of the problems...will try to add them this weekend.

Briscoe Bridge
Posted October 20, 2011, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

The contract and plans for the rehab are now online at INDOT (Contract 29596). The completion date for the contract is November 15, 2012.

Briscoe Bridge
Posted August 25, 2011, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

While choosing to not raise the bridge will mean that people like me who are stupid enough to drive 45 minutes out of their way to try to visit this bridge and nearby Boner Bridge after any appreciable rainfall will continue to find they have wasted their time, I don't think the bridge itself is at risk of being swept away or damaged by floods. When I was there, the floodwaters appeared to be a result of the Ohio River rising rather than raging water flowing down the river the bridge actually crosses. There was little flow observed in the flood waters. The famous Zoarville Station Bridge in Ohio is a similar situation. It will flood sometimes, but there is no water flow, hence no danger to the bridge.

Briscoe Bridge
Posted August 25, 2011, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

I had heard this was in the works and am glad it is getting started very soon. I don't know if the flooding is a common occurrence or just during extreme flooding, but I hope they have made the right decision in not raising it.

A Whipple Truss is special in it's own right... but bracket it with a set of Kingpost ponies and you have a very unique landmark span!

Briscoe Bridge
Posted August 25, 2011, by T.M. (apmarino1966 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

The bridge will be rehabilitated and the rehabilitation contract is due for letting this fall. A public hearing was held a few months ago and the plans were available for viewing. It will be repaired and strengthened in place and will be repainted, but it will not be raised.

Briscoe Bridge
Posted October 29, 2010, by Anthony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Warrick County has decided to rehabilitate this unique structure at it's original site. There had been some talk about moving it to a trail, but I was concerned that the Kingpost ponies might be separated from the Whipple truss.

Hopefully they can address the flooding issue and maybe raise the span several feet.

Briscoe Bridge
Posted May 12, 2010, by Bob Spillman

I have a feeling the relocation is put off for now, the trail section where it would have gone is being completed now and there is no funding information for the bridge. Hopefully if it is replaced they will store it instead of scrapping it. It gets flooded about every spring it seems, but they didn,'t clean it up after earlier this years flooding and then it was hit again last week.

Briscoe Bridge
Posted May 12, 2010, by J.P.

i thought i had seen somewhere is bridge was scheduled for reuse on a trail. might be wrong though. as for the flooding, ill be honest you did happen to pass through this area after a ton of rain. we didn't get as much as tennessee, the ohio river was covering parts of the waterfront park from flooding. but i agree would be awesome to see it moved.

Briscoe Bridge
Posted May 11, 2010, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

The bridge deck is likely all warped and messed up because the entire deck and half the bridge was underwater this past Sunday (May 9, 2010) when Rick and I were at the bridge trying to photo-document the bridge for HistoricBridges.org as part of our Indiana/Illinois bridge trip. This bridge was an utter failure for us. We also could not reach the nearby Boner Bridge due to flooding. The one photo I got of Briscoe Bridge, which shows the kingposts (the most important part of the bridge) COMPLETELY submersed in water. This was one of the most frustrating things I have ever experienced during a bridge trip short of finding a bridge demolished.

I am all for relocating the bridge someplace else, as long as the new location does not flood like it does here.

Briscoe Bridge
Posted May 11, 2010, by Anthony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

I also talked to someone down there that reiterated that this bridge is supposed to restored for trail use. My biggest concern is that the Kingpost ponies stay with the Whipple through truss.

Briscoe Bridge
Posted May 11, 2010, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

This is a classic WIBC bridge - complete with Kingpost trusses. Given Indiana's excellent track record recently, I would hope that this bridge gets reused as a pedestrian bridge somewhere.

Briscoe Bridge
Posted May 11, 2010, by Bob (yosh6654 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

This bridge is listed to be replaced in 2011 in a report I seen. It was going to be reused on the Newburgh rivertown trail like the Warner Road bridge, but I haven't seen any mention of this for awhile and that section of the trail is being built right now. The deck isn't holding up very well without any maintenance.

Old River Road Bridge
Posted August 3, 2009, by Anthony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

I just hope they are planning to save the Old River Bridge like they did the one on Boner Road. A Whipple is rare enought.....but those Kingpost ponies are very unique.

Old River Road Bridge
Posted August 3, 2009, by J.R. Manning (thekitchenguy [at] sbcglobal [dot] net)

Hopefully, some moron with a fully loaded lumber truck won't try to cross it, like the poor Wallace Bridge in Arkansas.

Old River Road Bridge
Posted August 3, 2009, by Bob (yosh6654 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

It's signed as closed now but people are still using it for the present.

Old River Road Bridge
Posted March 29, 2007, by Anthony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

This is a Whipple thru truss with rare Kingpost ponies on both ends. It has a pending status but will hopefully be restored. It was built by the Wrought Iron Bridge Co.