Rating:
6 votes

Main Street Bridge

Photos 

A Postcard clearly showing both the iron and Covered sides of the bridge.

Historic postcard view

BH Photo #159106

Description 

In 1869 a tornado wrecked 2 spans on the Indiana side. They were replaced by uncovered wood spans. In 1875 they were, in turn, replaced with iron spans. In 1889 the bridge became a free bridge (no tolls).

Facts 

Overview
Lost Bowstring through truss bridge over Wabash River on Main Street
Location
Vincennes, Knox County, Indiana, and Lawrence County, Illinois
Status
Replaced by new bridge
History
Replaced by the Lincoln Memorial Bridge
Builder
- Massillon Bridge Co. of Massillon, Ohio (Bowstring through trusses)
Design
2 span bowstring through truss
2 span covered through truss bridge
1 center swing span (pony truss)
Dimensions
Total length: 778.0 ft.
Approximate latitude, longitude
+38.68180, -87.53452   (decimal degrees)
38°40'54" N, 87°32'04" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
16/453508/4281601 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Vincennes
Inventory numbers
WGCB 13-51-03x / 14-42-01x (World Guide to Covered Bridges number)
BH 43289 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • August 7, 2022: Updated by Stewart Edwin Beitler: Added some info in Description portion
  • August 16, 2020: New photo from Mike Daffron
  • January 13, 2019: New photo from Melissa Brand-Welch
  • November 15, 2016: New photo from Douglas Butler
  • November 18, 2011: Updated by Steve Conro: GPS
  • May 2, 2011: New photo from Mike Roegner
  • March 26, 2010: New photos from James Simmons
  • August 25, 2009: Added by Kim Harvey

Related Bridges 

Sources 

Comments 

Main Street Bridge
Posted August 14, 2022, by spuwho (edwaleni5 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

Those who look at these old bridges over the Wabash will probably notice that they all had drawspans. There used to be a dam at Grand Rapids (Mt Carmel) that made the Wabash navigable all the way up to Terre Haute. A lock was built at Mt Carmel when a spillway was installed in 1890. But due to the Wabash Navigation Act of 1835, it required river navigation to have preference. So that is why when the railroads came along and later the roads, they all had to provide a way for steamers to pass. The Army Corps of Engineers shut down the the lock at Grand Rapids in 1932 and later removed the spillway. (probably due to the recent flooding) In the summer when the river is low, you can see what remains of the crib and stone dam built in the 1840's. The Wabash was turned over to the TVA (Tennessee Valley Authority) in 1946 and they didn't want it. The navigation act was finally revoked in the 1960's after several road bridges were built to comply with the Act as late at 1956.

First Vincennes Highway Bridge 13-51-03x / 14-42-01x
Posted July 31, 2015, by Matt Lohry

John,

According to the NBI, it was built in 1931 and rehabilitated in 1992.

First Vincennes Highway Bridge 13-51-03x / 14-42-01x
Posted July 31, 2015, by John Shukites (jmshukites [at] gmail [dot] com)

I am not sure when it was built but here is a picture of the current bridge over the Wabash in Vincennes. It is a beautiful bridge.

First Vincennes Highway Bridge
Posted May 2, 2011, by James Simmons (james [at] simmons [dot] net)

Upon closer examination and talking with the homeowner, that brick isn't from the original bridge, but likely was put in so that a previous driver would have a solid surface to drive to the house on. Especially after floods.

First Vincennes Highway Bridge
Posted October 11, 2009, by Jim Grey (mobilene [at] gmail [dot] com)

How cool that both bridges appear to have operated concurrently for a while! Thanks for all these great photos. The original brick road to/from this bridge still exists on the Illinois side; see photo. Part of it appears to be on private property; the homeowner there parks his car on it. I haven't gone to look, but aerial views of the Vincennes side suggest that one block of brick road still exists there, too.

First Vincennes Highway Bridge
Posted October 10, 2009, by James Simmons (james [at] simmons [dot] net)

Originally this entire bridge was a wooden covered bridge, but after an alleged tornado destroyed the Indiana side of the bridge it was replaced with steel. Then in the early 1900s the Illinois side was replaced with steel as well. You can see the rotating span in the middle of the bridge as well.