5 votes

Washington Street Tippecanoe River US 24 Bridge


Photo taken by Chris Light


BH Photo #220921


Street View 


This bridge survived the great tornado outbreak of 1974. Much of downtown Monticello was damaged, including the nearby Courthouse which had to be demolished and replaced. Ironically this was not the first time that had happened as old structure replaced it's own predecessor because of another tornado. During the 74 outbreak, a small bus was swept over the side of this bridge killing 5 from Fort Wayne. One female passenger survived. The nearby Penn Central Railroad Bridge(TP&W today)lost several of it's bridge sections into the river as well.


Lost concrete arch bridge over Tippecanoe River on US 24 in Monticello
Monticello, White County, Indiana
New bridge built just to the North and this bridge demolished.
Built 1947; rehabilitated 2000, lost 2014
Open-spandrel concrete arch
Length of largest span: 109.9 ft.
Total length: 449.7 ft.
Deck width: 29.8 ft.
Eligible for the National Register of Historic Places
Approximate latitude, longitude
+40.74611, -86.75778   (decimal degrees)
40°44'46" N, 86°45'28" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
16/520449/4510601 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Monticello South
Average daily traffic (as of 2004)
Inventory numbers
INNBI 005940 (Indiana bridge number on the National Bridge Inventory)
BH 17315 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection report (as of August 2013)
Overall condition: Poor
Superstructure condition rating: Serious (3 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Serious (3 out of 9)
Deck condition rating: Serious (3 out of 9)
Sufficiency rating: 4.3 (out of 100)
View more at BridgeReports.com

Update Log 

  • August 12, 2014: New photos from James Norwood
  • August 5, 2014: Updated by James Norwood: Latest info regarding demolition
  • June 20, 2014: Updated by James Norwood: updated status, bridge still intact as of June 2014, but closed officially with detour.
  • January 8, 2013: Updated by Nathan Holth: This bridge is now doomed.
  • November 27, 2011: New Street View added by James Baughn
  • October 8, 2011: Photos imported by Luke Harden
  • October 3, 2011: Photos imported by Luke Harden
  • April 10, 2009: Updated by James Norwood: Added Washington Street to name
  • April 9, 2009: New photo from James Norwood


  • James Norwood
  • Chris Light - CJKADJ [at] juno [dot] com
  • Nathan Holth


Washington Street Tippecanoe River US 24 Bridge
Posted September 29, 2014, by Steven J. Suiter (sjsuiter [at] yahoo [dot] com)

Why in God's name did they feel they had to replace the bridge? It didn't look unsafe in the pictures.

Washington Street Tippecanoe River US 24 Bridge
Posted August 5, 2014, by Nathan Holth (webmaster [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

This bridge is listed on Bridgehunter as Select, but I looked it up in the INDOT docouements and the following statement was made in the list of select bridges regarding this arch:

"Replacement of this historic bridge already determined and documented in an MOA"

So its not really Select, which is apparently how they got away with the wasteful and disappointing demolition of this beautiful bridge.

Washington Street Tippecanoe River US 24 Bridge
Posted April 15, 2012, by James Norwood

Bridge is set to be replaced with another according to INDOT site. Current bridge will be demolished, as new bridge will sit just North of current with new alignment. Info can be found here http://www.in.gov/indot/files/US_24_over_Tippecanoe_HearingP...

Washington Street Tippecanoe River US 24 Bridge
Posted October 3, 2011, by Linda Johnson Treat (Treatdreams [at] yahoo [dot] com)

I grew up at the foot of the Washington Street Bridge…

In the dead of summer, when it was very hot, and it was hard to sleep, I would listen to the lullaby of Peterbilts and Macks and Kenworths, as they would rumble and grumble trying to gear down for “Dead Man’s Curve”.

Once this menace to the hauling man had been successfully navigated, these trucks would growl and strain in an attempt to regain their pride and lost momentum.

And as the sound of this struggle, man against his machine, would dwindle out into the darkness of night, I would try to imagine the faces of those men, and the mysterious far off places which called there names. I would drift into sleep thinking of their loved ones, leading them home by their heartstrings from their long and lonesome journeys…

Yes, Washington Street Bridge is a beautiful bridge, and when the dams were closed, and the current was slow, and the surface of the water would calm, it would reflect as a shimmering looking glass.

At those times, when there was not a ripple, the arches of the bridge and their magical reflection portrayed that of two huge eyes. I always felt that bridge was watching over me, and I always felt for that bridge, as one would feel for a secret and trusted friend.....

By: Linda K. Johnson Treat

Kissimmee, Florida

Tippecanoe River US 24 Bridge
Posted April 10, 2009, by James Norwood

Story of van swept overside the bridge during the tornado of 1974 found at http://www.april31974.com/monticelloin_page2.htm#Fort%20Wayn...

Fort Wayne Girl Survives Van's Plunge

"I think it's a miracle I'm alive," said 17-year-old Karen Stotts after surviving a 50-foot plummet into the Tippecanoe River in a mini-bus during the April 3 tornado here.

Karen, of Fort Wayne, and five other persons were in a van when wind swept it over the north side of Washington Street Bridge east of Monticello.

Killed in the accident were Elizabeth Scalf, 14; Margaret (Peggy) Stump, 18; Jackie McKelleb, 17; Sharon Miller, 19; and Dr. Donald R. Richards, 37, all of Fort Wayne.

Dr. Richards, chairman of a language department at Indiana-Purdue University at Fort Wayne, was driver of the van, Karen said.

The six, plus four boys driving a separate car - including Miss Scalf's brother - were enroute to Fort Wayne after attending a religious conference in Illinois.

The boys were following the van and pulled over before reaching the bridge due to high winds. They were not hurt.

Karen said that just before the van was hurled from the bridge, Richards told his female passengers to get down on the floor of the van.

"The wind just took complete control of the bus, and flipped us over the side of the bridge. . . we must've rolled over about two times on the way down before hitting the water ."

Karen, who was in the back seat of the van, said she couldn't remember hearing any of her friends inside the van screaming because "it all happened so fast."

After the van plunged nose-first into the water from the 50-foot bridge, she said she made her way out of the van through the shattered rear window, but can't remember "if I crawled out on my own or if I was thrown out."

Seconds after getting clear of the van, Karen said she saw Richards and one of the other girls floating in the water but was unable to reach them due to the stiff current.

Karen who was only about 10 feet from one of the bridge's cement supports, said "I tried to grab a hold of one of the columns after I got out, but the current forced me down the river past it too fast."

A good swimmer, Karen said she let the current carry her about a half a mile downstream where she was finally able to reach near the shore and grab a branch to stop herself.

She then crawled onto shore in East Monticello and was cared for by Mrs. Marie Person at the Holiday Resort there.

When Indiana State Trooper Donald K. Baber arrived to offer assistance later that evening, he found Karen had been placed comfortably on a couch wrapped in warm clothing and blankets.

Although she did not appear injured, Baber was concerned Karen should be checked by medical authorities and drove her to White County Memorial Hospital.

Enroute to the hospital in the patrol car, Karen at several instances asked if a Mormon minister was in the area and if she could talk to him.

Apparently suffering from shock, Karen repeatedly fought back tears as she asked Baber about her friends and if any of them made it out alive.

In a comforting tone, the veteran trooper assured her that everything possible was being done to locate the missing girls and Richards.

After detection of a minor concussion was made by White County Hospital doctors, Karen was transferred to St. Elizabeth Hospital in Lafayette, where she was treated and released

Tippecanoe River US 24 Bridge
Posted October 16, 2007, by Christopher Light (cjkadj [at] juno [dot] com)

GPS: 40.746149,-86.757751

1 West approach from Monticello

2 North concrete raililng

3 Pour arches (north side)

4 Concrete arch (north side)

5 North face from east side of the river

6 two arches (north face)

Webmaster's note: The photos that were here have been incorporated into the main site.