My first ever trip to explore an old road was on July 15, 2006. My friend Dawn and I drove the National Road and US 40 from downtown Indianapolis to the Illinois state line.

Even though I had researched the trip beforehand and knew this abandoned bridge was there, as a road-trip newbie I was still blown away by the sight of it. My experience with this bridge was so exciting that it has propelled me to explore the old roads to this day.

Abandoned bridge/road of US 40 west of Plainfield
Olympus Stylus Epic 80, Fujicolor 200, 2006

I’ve visited this bridge at least a dozen times since then. Almost every time I am out this way, I stop and make at least one photograph. It’s amazing to me how intact this bridge has remained over the last 15 years.

Abandoned US 40 bridge west of Plainfield
Canon PowerShot S95, 2021

This bridge was built in 1923, but served only until 1940 when the modern four-lane US 40 was built alongside it. It’s been abandoned for 80 years now!

I’ve driven the National Road from its beginning in Baltimore, MD to its end in Vandaila, IL. To read everything I’ve ever written about it, click here.

To get Down the Road in your inbox or reader six days a week, click here to subscribe!
To get my newsletter with previews of what I’m working on, click here to subscribe!


13 responses to “Then and now: Abandoned US 40 bridge west of Plainfield, Indiana”

  1. J P Avatar

    I sense a challenge – which one of you will outlive the other, you or the bridge. If I were a betting man, I’m not sure which of you would be my choice.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      That bridge has been there almost 100 years. It could last 100 more.

  2. Lone Primate Avatar
    Lone Primate

    What’s strange is that I’d almost think the shots were reversed in sequence. The recent shot shows the bridge as less overgrown and occluded. Some agency must be looking after it. Do any of the in between shots bear that out?

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I wonder if it’s because the 2006 photo was made in July, and the 2021 photo in September.

      1. Michael Avatar

        Highly unlikely. There should have been significant growth of the shrubs in 15 years and they definitely look less dense overall as do the weeds, and we certainly haven’t had a dry year. It nearly looks mown. There are at least ATV (or mower!) tracks in the dirt.

        1. Jim Grey Avatar

          I never thought that someone might be tending to this bridge. But who?

  3. Russ Ray Avatar

    I need to go find this – it’s like 10 minutes from my house.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Just past that golf course on the west edge of Plainfield. On the north side.

  4. bodegabayf2 Avatar

    Yup…someone is definitely doing some brush clearing on that bridge.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I wonder why.

      1. Michael Avatar

        To still get to the other side? Or a nostalgic bridge fan?

        1. Jim Grey Avatar

          I wonder if this bridge is private property today. There’s some sort of business on the west end of it, quarrying or something, I can’t tell. Maybe it’s still occasionally used to move equipment on and off the highway.

  5. […] Then and now: Abandoned US 40 bridge west of Plainfield, Indiana โ€” Down the Road […]

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: