Along what was the Dandy Trail in what is now Eagle Creek Park in Indianapolis, you will find an abandoned bridge. It’s hard to reach on foot. Jayson Rigsby recently contacted me to say he made photographs of it on a recent kayaking trip along Eagle Creek.
The Dandy Trail was a 1920s pleasure-drive loop in what was then the country surrounding Indianapolis. I’ve written many times about the Dandy Trail and have driven about half of it; read all about it here. Since the Dandy Trail’s heyday, Indianapolis expanded greatly, and now most of the land around the old Dandy Trail has been heavily developed.
Eagle Creek cuts across northwest Indianapolis and intersects the Dandy Trail near where the town of Traders Point used to be. Read Traders Point’s story here. In short, frequent flooding of Eagle Creek in this area led to a flood-control project in 1967 that created Eagle Creek Reservoir, which led to the creation of an enormous city park surrounding it. It also led to the demolition of almost every building in Traders Point, as it was thought the flood-control work would permanently flood the town. That didn’t happen and Traders Point was destroyed in vain.
Here’s an aerial image of Eagle Creek Park. I’ve pointed out the bridge’s location, and have roughly drawn in the now lost portion of the Dandy Trail. The lost road’s north end empties out into what was Traders Point.
Zooming in for a closer look, you can clearly see the bridge. It’s at about the vertical center, and a little left of horizontal center.
It’s interesting to me that no trace remains of the Dandy Trail as it led to and away from this bridge. Here’s an aerial image from 1956 that shows the bridge and the road.
Jayson first made this image of the bridge from the air, from just west of the bridge.
Then he got into his kayak and rowed in for a closer look. This is the north end and west side of the bridge. This bridge appears to have a pony girder truss design. The Central States Bridge Company of Indianapolis specialized in those, so this bridge might be one of theirs.
Here’s a closer look at the north end of the bridge.
This is the west side of the bridge.
I have heard that at some times of the year this bridge is submerged. I’m happy Jayson kayaked out to this bridge and gave me permission to share his photos.