George Street Bridge

George Street Bridge is located in Aurora, Indiana and carries George Street over Hogan Creek. The iron bridge, one of the oldest in the state, was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1984.1

The 16-panel, pin-connected Whipple through truss was constructed in 1887 by Lomas Forge and Bridge Works of Cincinnati, Ohio.1 The bridge erection was overseen by F.J.P. Brackett, engineer and superintendent.

The iron bridge replaced an earlier wooden truss.1 The George Street bridge carried trolley cars until the 1940’s, US 50 until 19542 and IN 56 until 1972. Two wings on both sides carried utility pipes; the west wing also carried a pedestrian walkway.

The distinct crossing was rehabilitated in 1950 when the wooden deck was replaced with a steel grid deck.1 Deterioration of the walkway supports required the removal of the pedestrian path in 1974 and in 1979, the entire bridge was closed to automobile traffic due to structural concerns. The George Street bridge was rehabilitated from 1983 to 1989 and reopened to automobile and pedestrian traffic.3

A detailed inspection of the bridge was conducted in November 2000 that raised some structural issues, including popped rivets, loose bolt connections, metal loss on diagonal plates, a vertical beam crack, and rust and a slight buckle on a top cord plate.4

On March 19, 2001, the weight limit was lowered from 20 tons to 15 tons per vehicle after concerns were raised over semi-trailer trucks crossing the George Street bridge.4 Additional inspections on March 28 and March 29 revealed nine newly popped rivets. As a result, the weight limit was lowered to six tons per vehicle, effectively banning semi-trailer trucks.

The George Street bridge was rehabilitated in 2010, which included the installation of a new floor system, substructure improvements, truss analysis, truss reinforcement, portal bracing reinforcement, new paint, the replacement of failed rivets with new hot-metal driven rivets.The rehabilitation allowed the bridge to carry a HS20-44 load, or 36 tons.