Double Whipple Bridge - Vera Cruz, IN
Posted by: bluesneaky
N 40° 41.915 W 085° 04.978
16T E 661962 N 4507064
Quick Description: The last double whipple bridge left in Indiana is abandoned in overgrowth and vegetation with not so much as a mention much less a plaque or marker to signify its historical importance after nearly 125 years.
Location: Indiana, United States
Date Posted: 10/20/2011 12:28:09 PM
Waymark Code: WMCWVT
Abandon bridges can be interesting to try to find when they are hidden or off the beaten path. Its even more interesting to find out that one you found is the last of its kind. Thats what this bridge is.
It can be found in Vera Cruz Indiana a bit off to the side of the present bridge crossing the Wabash River. Its a neat find; its a good sized truss bridge that is still in fair condition. You can see the old asphalt over wood decking and even a bit of the lines painted on the roadway. Its pretty cool. But there is more to it...
Its the last known double whipple truss bridge standing in Indiana. So how would you know a double whipple truss bridge if you saw one? (the bridge looked like any other bridge to me when I first saw it) Well look on the side of the bridge at the cross members that run at a 45 degree angle from top to bottom. Notice that they cross the span of two vertical members... That is what makes it a double whipple bridge!
I came across the bridge by accident while trying to discover a little history on the road that follows the Wabash River from Markle south through Bluffton on to Vera Cruz. In an obscure article about a bike path in Bluffton the mayor mentioned that the city was considering moving a bridge from Vera Cruz up to Bluffton to serve as part of the bike path over the river there. In that article it was mentioned that this was the last remaining double whipple bridge in Indiana. The article is no longer on line but more research seems to confirm the statement.
There are some EXCELLENT pictures of the bridge, past (in its glory days) and the present at (visit link
) . They are worth looking at.
The bridge has withstood the test of time very well (built in 1897) but the lack of preventative maintenance is beginning to catch up with it and if it is not recognized and saved it will soon be too late. The foundation of the abutments are in bad need of repair if it is going to last. The iron of the bridge itself is sound enough to last for a while longer. Mention has been made in several places on the internet that it is up for placement on the national register of historic places but to date it is not.
BTW.. if reading the article that documents that it is the last remaining one (the indianatrails.org March 4 2005) an update on the idea to move it: The idea was scraped when engineers pointed out the bridge is shorter than the span needed to cross in Bluffton for the bike trail.