WCT Committee Working To Save The Historic Cedar Grove Bridge
The Friends of the Cedar Grove Bridge, a committee of Whitewater Canal Trail (WCT) hopes to preserve the old Cedar Grove Bridge, one of the few remaining double span camelback bridges in Indiana. The Indiana Department of Transportation has plans to demolish the nearly 100 year-old steel bridge, but the Friends group is working to get ownership of the bridge transferred to WCT.
Whitewater Valley Guide has updates on the status of the bridge.
Instead of letting INDOT blow up the bridge, the plan is to do some basic repairs to the structure and open it for pedestrian use as a quiet place to enjoy the Whitewater River and some of the best views in the Whitewater Valley.
The Friends of the Cedar Grove Bridge (FCGB) organized when it became apparent that INDOT was serious about demolishing the bridge. Members include Cedar grove residents, local and statewide historical groups (Franklin County Citizens for Historic Preservation, Indiana Landmarks, etc.) plus an assortment of bridge fans and history buffs. They are dedicated to protecting, preserving, and promoting the historic steel bridge over the Whitewater River just outside Cedar Grove, Indiana. WCT support the effort to save the bridge, and several WCT board members also belong to FCGB, so it was logical for the friends group to become a committee of WCT when they needed not-for-profit status and organizational support.
Cedar Grove Bridge is the old
Indiana SR 1 bridge, a 360-foot span across the Whitewater River. It
has been completely closed since 1999. The 1914 steel structure,
manufactured by the Indiana Bridge Company of Muncie, has a distinctive
two-span “camel-back” design and is one of the longest of its kind
remaining in Indiana and. According to Franklin County records, the
bridge cost $18,975.
Original Bridge Drawings (Drawings and Documents Archive in the Ball State University Libraries)
Construction History & Structural Description (Cooper Report)
Inspection Report & Preservation Strategies (J.A. Barker Engineering, Inc.)
Because of its age and
characteristics, this bridge is eligible to be listed in the National
Register of Historic Places and the National Register of Historic
Bridges. But it has not been registered Indiana bridge historian, Dr.
Jim Cooper, who has worked with state agencies and county governments to
restore or preserve many bridges throughout Indiana is assisting on
this project. In his report on the bridge [link], he notes several
significant technical aspects of the bridge’s history and construction.
protection and reuse of the Cedar Grove Bridge will create jobs.
Stabilization, painting, and continual maintenance will have to be done
to the bridge. The Friends of the Cedar Grove Bridge plans use local
labor and suppliers when doing work to the bridge. In conjunction with
volunteers, which we think will assist in promoting community pride,
local labor will be used at every opportunity possible.