5 votes

Shelhorn Bridge



Photo taken by Jonathan Maxwell

BH Photo #102755


Dismantled Pratt through truss bridge originally over Flatrock River on CR-600N
Decatur County, Indiana
Bridge stored for reuse and new bridge being built at this site.
Future prospects
Dismantled and stored until new use can be found.
Built in 1904 by the Converse Bridge Co. of Chattanooga, TN.
- Converse Bridge Co. of Chattanooga, Tennessee
Pin-connected, 9-panel Pratt through truss
Length of largest span: 147.9 ft.
Total length: 149.9 ft.
Deck width: 15.7 ft.
Vertical clearance above deck: 18.0 ft.
Eligible for the National Register of Historic Places
Also called
Brookville Ford Bridge
County Bridge #19
Flatrock River 600N Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+39.42316, -85.56908   (decimal degrees)
39°25'23" N, 85°34'09" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
16/623167/4364713 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Average daily traffic (as of 2005)
Inventory numbers
INNBI 1600010 (Indiana bridge number on the National Bridge Inventory)
BH 16041 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection report (as of August 2009)
Overall condition: Poor
Superstructure condition rating: Poor (4 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Serious (3 out of 9)
Sufficiency rating: 16.9 (out of 100)
View more at BridgeReports.com

Update Log 

  • October 5, 2015: New photos from Janis Ford
  • June 30, 2013: Updated by Tony Dillon: Fixed listed number of panels, bridge has 9 instead of 8
  • April 29, 2012: New photos from Chris Wanninger
  • April 22, 2012: Updated by Tony Dillon: Updated status
  • November 21, 2010: New photos from Bill Eichelberger
  • March 21, 2010: New photos from Anthony Dillon
  • April 1, 2009: New photo from Anthony Dillon
  • July 26, 2008: Updated by Anthony Dillon: builder and changed date
  • October 6, 2005: Posted photos from Jonathan Maxwell


  • Jonathan Maxwell - themaxwellshouse [at] roadrunner [dot] com
  • Tony Dillon - spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com
  • Bill Eichelberger
  • Chris Wanninger
  • Janis Ford


Shelhorn Bridge
Posted April 29, 2012, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

I certainly agree that this one could have easily been rehabbed on site and carried traffic for many more decades... but I would also rather have it in a park than a dumpster!

Shelhorn Bridge
Posted April 29, 2012, by Chris Wanninger

If I had the resources I would love to buy as many different types as possible and place them all in one place as an interactive museum where you could drive over them all! Just dreaming out loud! As with any piece of our history, once it is gone, it can never be brought back. I'm glad that some people recognize this, but to take a magnificent piece of American engineering and art and place it in a park to have a few people walk over is an insult to the men that built them. It is also an insult to the taxpayers that are spending millions to replace bridges that could be rehabilitated for a fraction of the cost on roads that carry very little traffic.

Shelhorn Bridge
Posted April 22, 2012, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Unfortunately Chris...I doubt it would be.

I have jokingly said before that if I were rich and eccentric I would acquire these old bridges and fix them up. Then I would donate them to communities for parks and trails. Being realistic however, I think that each one of these has to be dealt with on a case-by-case basis. Usually when the decision is made to use an historic bridge in a project, one is chosen to fit the need within that project. Then, unless it is a privately funded deal, an application for funding to cover the cost of rehabilitation is submitted. In our bureaucratic...full of red tape society, it would likely be difficult to recover the costs of a bridge rehab after it has been completed.

Shelhorn Bridge
Posted April 22, 2012, by Chris Wanninger (hvlcmw [at] live [dot] com)

I wonder how feasible it would be to start a company that would take these old bridges and rehab them and sell them back to people/counties that are in need of one? most of the time it seems that you could get them for the just the cost of removal, correct?

Shelhorn Bridge
Posted April 22, 2012, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Win/lose situation here...

At least Decatur County is not letting these spans go to the scrapyard and they have so far been able to find alternatives for them.

It is however a shame that they have been brainwashed into believing that historic bridges can't be rehabbed and retained on the county road system.

Shelhorn Bridge
Posted April 21, 2012, by Chris Wanninger

This bridge has been removed and the new uceb is almost finished. Sad.

Shelhorn Bridge
Posted August 16, 2011, by Tom Hoffman (tehoffm [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Bridge is to be disassembled and stored beginning September 1st. It will be stored in St. Paul. Hopefully future use can be found rather than letting the materials sit around.

Flatrock River 600N Bridge
Posted July 3, 2007, by Anthony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

This bridge was built in 1904 by the Converse Bridge Company of Chattanooga, Tenn.

Mr. Converse had a working relationship with the Pan American Bridge Co. of New Castle (He would eventually become the head engineer for Pan Am), and the trusses for this bridge may have been manufactured by them. It remains closed with an uncertain future.

Webmaster's note: The photo that was here has been incorporated into the main site.