After I finished my State Road 67 road trip, I took the long way home, following whatever highway felt good. I came upon State Road 42, which I explored on a 2008 road trip. It had been ages since I’d driven any of it, so I turned onto it and headed east. Before long I came upon the 1937 Parker through truss bridge over the Eel River near the tiny town of Poland.
Naturally, I stopped to photograph this bridge in 2008 as well. I was driving the other direction, so my photos are from the other end.
As you can see, the bridge got a new coat of baby blue paint since 2008. That happened in 2016 along with a general rehabilitation. In 2010, the bridge was closed for a while because it needed emergency repairs, which may have triggered the rehab.
A similar Parker through truss bridge 17½ miles east of here was repaired in 2022 after being severely damaged in a crash.
Truss bridges have steadily disappeared from Indiana’s highways and the pace is not relenting. I feel sure that one thing that helps preserve the two SR 42 truss bridges is that it parallels both US 40 and I-70 between Terre Haute and Indianapolis (although SR 42 terminates in Mooresville, a city just southwest of Indianapolis). As such, SR 42 mostly serves to connect the small towns on it. It is a narrow highway by modern standards, and gets relatively little traffic.
To see more from my 2008 trip along all of State Road 42, go here.
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