Abandoned US 40 bridge near Plainfield, IN

Abandoned US 40 bridge
Nikon N8008, 28-80mm f/3.3-5.6 AF Nikkor
Kodak Tri-X 400

I’ve often wondered what leads to a bridge being abandoned. Was it too expensive to tear it out? Won’t it become a safety hazard for curious explorers?

I don’t know for sure when this bridge was built, but my past research points to 1920-25. It carried US 40 over the west fork of White Lick Creek, just west of Plainfield, Indiana. It served until only about 1940, when US 40 was upgraded to four lanes here. Two new bridges were built, one for each direction of traffic. This bridge was left behind.

The current westbound bridge is only a few feet away. It’s only in the winter months, when the trees are bare and the vegetation has died back, that you can see this old bridge from the road as you drive by.

I love it when serendipity happens. I scheduled this post to go live today weeks ago. Later, I started moving my 2006 road trip along this section of the National Road and US 40 to the blog, which I started sharing this week. My post about the day I first encountered this bridge posts next week.

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10 responses to “single frame: Abandoned US 40 bridge”

  1. DougD Avatar

    I was wondering why they didn’t use it for one direction of the dual carriageway, but I found the satellite shot and with the realignment it’s at the wrong angle.

    I guess it’s free to leave it there and costs money to tear down.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I think they realigned to work around this bridge. The new bridges are both wider than the old to reflect the evolved standards of the time. The old bridge had become functionally obsolete!

  2. Paula Zaluski Avatar

    I think it’s a GREAT Picture of our past.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Thank you!

  3. Olli Thomson Avatar
    Olli Thomson

    The light in this shot is lovely. It gives it a very melancholy feel.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Thank you! I like the light here too. Wish I could say I saw it that way when I pressed the shutter. This is just how it turned out!

  4. Nancy Stewart Avatar
    Nancy Stewart

    All the people that passed back and forth all those years tending to their daily tasks …… memories ……

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Yes! I wonder if anyone alive still remembers driving across this bridge.

  5. peggy Avatar

    Your photograph has great light, contrast and composition. The structure puts me in mind of a Maxfield Parrish painting.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Wow, what a lovely compliment! Thank you!

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