3 votes

Butler Bridge


Photo taken by Tom Hall


BH Photo #115656



Here's a short video on the Butler Bridge that I rcently did.

Play video on YouTube


With a build date of 1903, I believe this to be the oldest remaining span built by the Pan American Bridge Company of New Castle, Indiana. That firm was organized in 1902 by T.J. Burk. He was disgruntled by the vote of the other shareholders to move the New Castle Bridge Company to Indianapolis and immediately sold his interests. He built a new and more substantial plant and started production in the Fall of 1902.

His firm would enjoy greater longevity than the relocated (and renamed) Central States Bridge Company.

Link to Iron Bridges Festival 

Written by James Norwood



Pratt through truss bridge over Eel River on CR 950 North
Miami County, Indiana
Built 1903 by the Pan American Bridge Company.
- Pan American Bridge Co. of New Castle, Indiana
2X7-panel, Pinned Pratt through truss
Length of largest span: 140.1 ft.
Total length: 286.0 ft.
Deck width: 17.7 ft.
Vertical clearance above deck: 16.5 ft.
Eligible for the National Register of Historic Places
Also called
Eel River CR 950N Bridge
Miami County Bridge #54
Approximate latitude, longitude
+40.90472, -85.96556   (decimal degrees)
40°54'17" N, 85°57'56" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
16/587124/4528695 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Average daily traffic (as of 2011)
Inventory numbers
INNBI 5200041 (Indiana bridge number on the National Bridge Inventory)
BH 16646 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection report (as of May 2017)
Overall condition: Poor
Superstructure condition rating: Serious (3 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Deck condition rating: Poor (4 out of 9)
Sufficiency rating: 28.2 (out of 100)
View more at BridgeReports.com

Update Log 

  • May 27, 2021: Updated by Tony Dillon: Added stuff
  • May 26, 2021: New photos from Jen Savage
  • March 30, 2021: New video from Satolli Glassmeyer
  • May 3, 2018: Updated by Dave King: Added categories "7-panel truss", "Lattice Railing"
  • September 6, 2016: Updated by Christopher Finigan: Added category "Pin-connected"
  • September 6, 2016: Updated by Tony Dillon: Updated status to closed.
  • January 28, 2010: New photos from Anthony Dillon
  • April 28, 2009: Essay added by James Norwood
  • February 5, 2009: Updated by Anthony Dillon
  • June 23, 2008: Updated by Anthony Dillon: common name, builder, and truss type


  • Tom Hall - thomas [dot] hall [at] ffni [dot] com
  • Tony Dillon - spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com
  • James Norwood
  • Satolli Glassmeyer - info [at] scenicroadrallies [dot] com
  • Jen Savage - reoracer [at] gmail [dot] com


Butler Bridge
Posted May 27, 2021, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

As the oldest known of the few remaining Pan American spans, I would give anything to see this beauty restored. Unfortunately the county seems to have abandoned this short section of the road. Pan American was my hometown firm and this is my favorite.

Butler Bridge
Posted May 26, 2021, by Jen Savage (reoracer [at] gmail [dot] com)

Visited this bridge today, got a couple new pix

Butler Bridge
Posted June 28, 2020, by Jen Savage (reoracer [at] gmail [dot] com)

Thank you, Scott! This is my favorite bridge...

Butler Bridge
Posted June 26, 2020, by Melissa Brand-Welch (melissabrandwelch [at] msn [dot] com)

Love this Scott!

Butler Bridge
Posted June 26, 2020, by SCOTT Ash (sash5382 [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Another great day at Butler Bridge !

Butler Bridge
Posted March 9, 2020, by Scott Ash (sash5282 [at] hotmail [dot] com)

I visit here often and used to maintain the signs for Miami county from 99 to 11 so I crossed it many times when it was open ! Here’s a recent visit !

Butler Bridge
Posted June 29, 2019, by Melissa Brand-Welch (melissabrandwelch [at] msn [dot] com)

Jen, I Love your photos !

Butler Bridge
Posted June 28, 2019, by Jen Savage (reoracer [at] gmail [dot] com)

Still a beautiful bridge, but in need of help. I hope someone will save it!

Butler Bridge
Posted June 28, 2019, by Jen Savage (reoracer [at] gmail [dot] com)

Growth on the deck. We didn't feel very comfortable walking too far across it. So sad, as 5 years ago, we were still driving across this one.

Butler Bridge
Posted June 28, 2019, by Jen Savage (reoracer [at] gmail [dot] com)

Looking up

Butler Bridge
Posted June 28, 2019, by Jen Savage (reoracer [at] gmail [dot] com)

Looking across the bridge from the east side. The deck is becoming overgrown.

Butler Bridge
Posted June 28, 2019, by Jen Savage (reoracer [at] gmail [dot] com)

Visited Butler Bridge today, it is in bad shape. View from east side.

Butler Bridge - Closed
Posted January 29, 2016, by Kenneth Einselen (in52engr [at] miamicountyin [dot] gov)

Closed following Fracture Critical inspection 2015.

Butler Bridge
Posted April 20, 2014, by Jen Savage (reoracer [at] gmail [dot] com)

Visited Butler Bridge today, Easter Sunday 2014. It's still in pretty decent condition, we were able to drive across it and I stopped to get some photos.

Butler Bridge
Posted February 28, 2010, by Bob Hammitt (bobhammitt [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Here are a few photos from 2-27-10. I have visited the Denniston bridge, the one just west of Chili that is closed to traffic and now the Butler bridge.

Eel River Bridge
Posted April 1, 2007, by Anthony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)


Thanks for posting the pictures of the Butler Bridge. Being the oldest surviving and most ornate Pan Am (that was built in my hometown), makes it very special to me. The county was planning it's demise, to the point where I had even talked about moving part of it home. Fortunately there has been enought of a fuss raised that they have apparently backed down for now. Fine by me, it's a nice location and I like them preserved in place when possible. I just hope they take the next step and restore it!