4 votes

Hibbs Ford Bridge


Photo taken by Evan Dillon in April 2009


BH Photo #136451

Street View 


Hibbs Ford Bridge

video by Mike Daffron


Through truss bridge over Deer Creek on Devil Backbone Road
Putnam County, Indiana
Open to traffic
Built 1906, restored 2006
- Attica Bridge Co. of Attica, Indiana
Through truss
Length of largest span: 89.9 ft.
Total length: 91.8 ft.
Deck width: 15.7 ft.
Vertical clearance above deck: 14.5 ft.
Eligible for the National Register of Historic Places
Also called
Putnam County Bridge #152
Approximate latitude, longitude
+39.61049, -86.78749   (decimal degrees)
39°36'38" N, 86°47'15" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
16/518242/4384548 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Average daily traffic (as of 2017)
Inventory numbers
INNBI 6700131 (Indiana bridge number on the National Bridge Inventory)
BH 16928 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection report (as of March 2017)
Overall condition: Fair
Superstructure condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Satisfactory (6 out of 9)
Deck condition rating: Satisfactory (6 out of 9)
Sufficiency rating: 54.5 (out of 100)
View more at BridgeReports.com

Update Log 

  • February 4, 2022: New photos from Marc O'Leary
  • April 5, 2020: New video from Mike Daffron
  • September 28, 2019: New photos from Mike Daffron
  • December 9, 2017: New photos from Mike Daffron
  • October 18, 2017: New video from Mike Daffron
  • January 2, 2017: Updated by Mike Daffron: added county bridge number
  • October 3, 2014: New Street View added by Ralph Demars
  • September 16, 2012: Updated by Tony Dillon: Adj. coordinates
  • July 20, 2011: New photos from J.P.
  • February 2, 2010: New photos from Anthony Dillon
  • April 3, 2009: New photos from Anthony Dillon
  • June 25, 2008: Updated by Anthony Dillon: common name, builder, and truss type


  • Tony Dillon - spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com
  • J.P. - wildcatjon2000 [at] gmail [dot] com
  • Mike Daffron - daffmikron [at] gmail [dot] com


Hibbs Ford Bridge
Posted January 13, 2011, by Anthony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Putnam County indeed has a really nice collection of historic bridges from wood to steel to concrete......and little desire to adequately maintain them.

They ride Parke County's coat-tails in regards to their "advertising" of the 9 remaining covered spans, but have shied away from National Register listing them for fear it will jeopardize just HOW they maintain them.

The Hibbs Ford Bridge has been the lone bright spot in the county's metal truss collection. A few of the through trusses have been closed while their fate is decided, while one (Appleby Ford) was quietly demolished. Federal funding has been skirted on several pony truss spans with the county replacing them 100% out-of-pocket.

A diverse collection of concrete spans hasn't fared much better with only the Reelsville Bridge seeing restoration so far. Even with that, a new (and grossly overbuilt) bypass towers over it....as if to try and block it from view.

I know I am totally bashing Putnam County here, but I just want them to appreciate these irreplaceable landmarks ....before there is little left to appreciate..........

Hibbs Ford Bridge
Posted January 13, 2011, by Jim Grey (mobilene [at] gmail [dot] com)

I made a Putnam County bridge tour in the summer of 2010 -- there are lots of great old spans in Putnam County. But this one really stands out and was worth a trip to see just by itself. I'm glad to know something of its restoration story. Hard to believe that $200k brought it to this great condition!

Hibbs Ford Bridge
Posted January 12, 2011, by Anthony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

I did a couple of "drop-in" inspections on the rehab of this bridge while I was with J.A.Barker Engineering in 2006. It just goes to show that a bridge can be adequately restored in-kind and not break the budget. I was inspecting the rehabilitation of the Hays Bridge in Hancock County at the same time, and it is really hard to tell that over $500,000 less was spent on this nice little span.

Hibbs Ford Bridge
Posted January 11, 2011, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

Here is the interesting story on this bridge, according to James Cooper:

Hired consultant suggested county rehab this bridge to 12 tons for over $1,000,000. This plan fell through because InDOT did not approve the project for 80%/20% funding.

Then, an Indiana historian convinced the county to hire a different engineer who was able to rehab this bridge to a greater limit of 15 tons… for a cost of only $200,000 a mere 20% of the original consultant’s estimate for a lower weight limit rehab! So the county spent the same they were planning to spend with the aid, but the bridge was rehabbed without that 80% aid, thus saving tax dollars, while getting a better rehab too!