The Cedar Grove Bridge, a riveted Camelback through truss, formerly carried IN Route 1 across the Whitewater River in Cedar Grove, Indiana. The historic span was demolished by explosives on February 17, 2016.
The Indiana Bridge Company of Muncie constructed a riveted, two-span Camelback through truss at the cost of $18,975 in Cedar Grove in 1914. 4 It replaced an earlier crossing that was destroyed in a flood in 1913. 1 The new 386-foot-long, one-lane bridge was divided into two spans, each 182 feet in length. 2
IN Route 1 was rerouted on a new alignment that bypassed Cedar Grove in 1978, and the Cedar Grove Bridge, infrequently used afterward, was closed to all automobile traffic in 1999 because of structural deterioration. 1 4 The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) offered to donate the bridge to Franklin County for reuse, but the county did not want to assume future maintenance responsibility.
In June 2011, INDOT submitted an application to the Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology (DHPA) proposing to demolish the Cedar Grove Bridge. 4
James Barker of J.A. Barker Engineering inspected the Cedar Grove Bridge on behalf of Indiana Landmarks, a historic preservation-oriented organization, in August 2011. 2 Barker reported that the crossing had inadequate railing, rotting bridge decking, damaged portal bracings because of truck impacts, rusting lower chords, rusted lower lateral bracing, and rusted floor beams. Barker suggested three alternatives for the repair of the bridge to accommodate pedestrians:
- Alternative 1: Assuming “sweat equity” by local citizens, the donation of services, or reduced-cost services along with fundraising with no assistance from the county or INDOT, Alternative 1 involved the most-needed repairs, including repairing bridge railing, removing the lower lateral bracing, repairing the bridge deck, and coating the bearing seat areas and lower chords with Thermarust.
- Alternative 2: Assuming some funding from INDOT and the transfer of ownership to a local entity, Alternative 2 involved augmenting the bridge railing with tubular steel, repairing the portal knee brace, replacing the lower lateral bracing, removing the top layer of the bridge deck boards, not repairing the floor beams or wing walls, and coating the bearing seat areas and lower chords with Thermarust.
- Alternative 3: Assuming INDOT transfers ownership to a local entity and that the local entity obtained federal aid funding, Alternative 3 involved a complete rehabilitation project with park amenities. It would include augmenting the bridge railing with tubular steel, repairing the portal knee brace, replacing the lower lateral bracing, replacing the bridge deck, repairing the floor beams or wing walls, and painting the superstructure.
INDOT resubmitted the application for demolition to DHPA in February 2012. 5 The agency said that while the bridge was eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places under Criterion C, the bridge was not in vehicular use and was not evaluated for Select or Non-Select status. While the DHPA staff did agree that the bridge was historical, because the proposed demolition was 100% state-funded, INDOT was not required to seek a federal Section 106 review.
NDOT offered Franklin County a deal to save the Cedar Grove Bridge in October. 3 The state would pay the county $1.5 million over three years, with the first payment of $500,000 remitted in April 2013. In exchange, the county would assume maintenance of the bridge. Although the county declined interest, the Whitewater Canal Trail (WCT) proposed owning the crossing as part of a hiking and cycling trail. In return, the county asked that the WCT be able to post a 50-year bond for bridge maintenance and demonstrate proof of insurance.
The proposals to save the Cedar Grove Bridge were ultimately passed over, and bids for its demolition were announced in December 2013, 1 and it was imploded in a controlled demolition on February 17, 2016. 6
- State: Indiana
- Type: Camelback Through Truss
- Status: Demolished - Not Replaced
- Total Length: 386 feet
- Main Span Length: 182 feet
- Deck Width: 17 feet
- Height: 50 feet
- Above Vertical Clearance: 12.2 feet
- Smith, Carrie Blackmore. ”Rare bridge facing demolition.”Cincinnati Enquirer. N.p., 3 Oct. 2012. Web. 31 Oct. 2012. Article.
- Barker, James. “Inspection of the Cedar Grove INDOT Truss Bridge (NBI #516) and a Discussion of Preservation Strategies.” J.A. Barker Engineering, Inc. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 Nov. 2012. Report.
- “COST OF OLD SR 1 DEAL.” Franklin County Observer 3 Oct. 2012: n. pag. Franklin County Observer. Web. 2 Nov. 2012.Article.
- “INDOT Plans “Controlled Demolition” of Whitewater Bridge in Cedar Grove.” Franklin County Observer 27 July. 2011: n. pag. Franklin County Observer. Web. 2 Nov. 2012. Article.
- “Historic Review Board staff comments on INDOT’s demolition plans.” Whitewater Valley Guide 2 Feb. 2012. Web. 2 Nov. 2012. Article.
- Swilley, Kristen. “WATCH: Demolition brings down historic Cedar Grove Bridge.” WCPO 17 Feb. 2016. Web. 18 Feb. 2016. Article and Video.