One warm summer Saturday in 2010, my frequent road-trip companion Dawn and I visited as many of the old bridges in Putnam County, Indiana, as we could. We ran out of daylight as we explored the 17th bridge; we had at least five more on our list that we promised ourselves we’d visit another day. That day hasn’t come yet. But the 17 bridges we did visit are documented on this blog. Read about the steel and iron truss bridges, and also about the wooden covered bridges, that we found there.
On that trip we visited the Houck Iron Bridge, a pinned Pratt through truss bridge built in 1913 (or 1920; authorities disagree).
It looked to us like this bridge had been closed to traffic for quite some time. The road leading to it on either end was overgrown.
This bridge might look like it’s in the middle of nowhere, but it stands just a mile north of Greencastle on County Road 25, also known as Houck Road.
Did I say it stands? Well, that’s not true anymore. A few months ago, it was removed and disassembled. The pieces were loaded onto four long trailers and transported 75 miles north to Delphi, a small town on the Wabash River and the Wabash and Erie Canal in Carroll County, where it will be restored and erected on a pedestrian trail at the Wabash and Erie Canal Park there.
The people in Delphi have done an astonishingly good job honoring their transportation heritage. The Wabash and Erie Canal Park is the centerpiece of that effort and is a true gem. I’ve been to the park twice and both times came away very impressed that a town of about 3,000 residents could put together something of that caliber. Now that I know the Houck Iron Bridge is there, I have another reason to visit. Restoration of the parts should take about a year, and then the bridge will be reassembled in its new location. With any luck I’ll be able to visit Delphi while the work is underway, but will make a point of returning when the bridge is finished so I can share photos with you.
I love truss bridges. They’re art in steel.