Sunday, November 20, 2022

1886 Aban?/CSX/Indianapolis Union Bridge over White River in Indianapolis, IN

(Bridge Hunter; Historic Bridges; Satellite)

I found this bridge while looking for a Big Four Bridge over the White River. This may be the oldest extant railroad truss in America, and it is made with wrought iron. [Evan Finch comment in BridgeHunter]

3D Satellite

Note that the truss is skewed. HistoricBridges explains that it is uncommon for a pin-connected truss bridge to be skewed. 
Street View, Sep 2016

Judging from some other photos that John Weller uploaded to BridgeHunter, the river was running high when he took this photo.
Feb 2009 Photo by John Weller via BridgeHunter

The details of a pin connection.
Photo by John Key via BridgeHunter

Fewer tie-bars are needed in the center of a truss because the tension in the diagonals is lower.
2012 Photo by Tony Dillon via BridgeHunter

This would be one of the biggest pins in the design because this joint bears the accumulated compression and tension forces of the truss. This photo also shows the bearing that allows the bridge to slide longitudinally as the truss expands and shrinks because of temperature changes.
2012 Photo by Tony Dillon via BridgeHunter

I wonder who owns the White River Trail (North and South) and Central Canal Trail. I wish CSX would sell the bridge and the isolated RoW north of the bridge to the trail owners for $1. This would allow the north and south parts of the White River Trail to be connected, and it would allow the Central Canal Trail to connect to the downtown area. The Central Canal Trail is where the Big Four had a route into town and the connection between the Indianapolis Union and the Big Four was the northern terminus of the IU on the west side of town.

"This bridge will probably be abandoned soon. The last customer on this track moved to Lebanon and CSX wants to rid itself of this spur. The bridge itself has a weight restriction (meaning that standard 286,000lb railcars cannot cross)." [2013 comment by Ethan in BridgeHunter] The weight limit would help explain why the Bunge elevator no longer has rail service.

Joe Myers posted
Abandoned railway bridge over White River on the near north side of downtown Indianapolis.
Nhat Quan V. Do: I last saw trains cross the bridge in late 2016. Usually 1 engine and 2 tank 2018 I went by the area and the grade crossing was paved over.
Eric A Zerkle: Part of this was the original Big 4 line into downtown Indy. Bypassed in the early 1900s.
Tim Shanahan shared
Izzy Kirk: It used to run to a VERY large grain elevator. Disappointing to see...

Naim Dezig Naishen commented on Joe's post
Slightly closer view I recently took.

Doug Bowman commented on Joe's post

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