Preservation, Road Trips

Being rebuilt: the destroyed 1892 Holliday Road bridge

I’m blown away that it’s happening: the 1892 Pratt through truss bridge on Holliday Road in southeastern Boone County, Indiana, is being rebuilt.

Mark Finch photo

Last we looked in on this bridge, it had just been destroyed by a tractor towing a farm implement too wide for the bridge.

Boone County Sheriff’s Office photo

I’m hearing reports that despite this level of destruction, a surprising amount of the original steel was able to be reused.

Also known as the O’Neal Bridge, it underwent a significant restoration once before, from 2006 to 2009. Here’s a photo I made of it in 2011.

The bridge on Holliday Road

This bridge is on a little-traveled gravel road in a lightly populated part of the county, so it’s hardly a critical transportation link. But as one of just three surviving steel truss bridges in the county, it’s wonderful to see it given one more chance to serve.

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14 thoughts on “Being rebuilt: the destroyed 1892 Holliday Road bridge

  1. Andy Umbo says:

    Glad to see this happening, I was saddened and disgusted when I read about this original destruction and it was just another key reason to leave the area. A farmer so brain-dead they wrecked a bridge by driving their equipment across that wouldn’t fit, and they kept at it until it was wrecked?! I just had to shake my head. I had to escape the hill-jacks of Indiana, couldn’t read any more news like this. Occurrences happened in Indiana like this every week, and I was totally used to this level of stuff from anywhere else I ever lived. Glad it’s being rebuilt. I hope they jailed the perpetrator and charged him the entire amount for his lunacy and stupidity. This was even discussed at length at the cigar lounge I frequented, none of the out-staters could believe someone would do this,,,,

    • It’s always a little painful when you speak this way of the people of my home state.

      As a bridgefan, I follow the news at, and events like this actually happen nationwide. Many bridges have been lost to heavy trucks and large farm implements.

  2. This is a great bit of news. I may not be a huge fan of bridges in general, but I like seeing the past preserved in as many ways as possible. Frankly, I am kind of amazed that they elected to spend money to do this.

    • I have to assume the farmer who destroyed the bridge is paying for its restoration via his insurance.

      I further assume that there are some wealthy landowners near this bridge that threatened to sue the farmer and/or his insurance company into oblivion unless they complied.

      I assume the wealthy landowners because this bridge is on the MOST minor of roads in Boone County, one you need to drive on only if you live on the adjacent land. If it were left up to the county, they’d probably just remove the bridge, close the road at either side of it, and move on, so little traffic does it get.

  3. -N- says:

    This is always good news. It’s all too easy to replace the old with the new, the latter of which seldom has much in beauty.

    • Yeah, in this modern era they’ve perfected the relatively inexpensive and highly non-beautiful steel stringer bridge. See your nearest Interstate overpass for an example. It’s pretty much all they build now.

  4. DougD says:

    That’s great. I too am surprised that they didn’t either scrap it entirely or replace it with a concrete slab.

    It really is a piece of art.

  5. It is so funny, I actually dreamt about a truck that was too big for a bridge, I was proud of myself for shouting out and saving it from destruction. I love bridges and your bridge posts are some of my favourite.

    • Oh good, I’m glad you like my bridge posts. I have another queued for a couple weeks from now. I’ve been photographing old bridges long enough now that some have been lost and some have been restored.

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