Residents gathered on July 5 to dedicate the relocated and restored Houck Bridge, now known as Gray Bridge, in Carroll County.|
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Carroll County dedicates restored bridge
Replacement of Houck Bridge (Putnam County Bridge #146) meant one less historic metal span in Putnam County. But that county’s loss has been Carroll County’s gain. Thanks to Carroll County Wabash & Erie Canal, Inc., the 1913 Houck Bridge now spans a portion of the Wabash & Erie Canal in Delphi. On July 5, residents gathered for a ceremony to dedicate the restored bridge.
Slated for replacement by the Putnam County Commissioners in 2008, Houck Bridge’s eligibility for listing in the National Register made it eligible for relocation and reuse. The canal group stepped in to propose reuse in Carroll County. Putnam County officials donated the pinned Pratt thru-truss span.
For nearly fifteen years, a group of volunteers known as the MWF (Monday-Wednesday-Friday) Crew, has met three mornings a week to complete work on various projects associated with the Wabash & Erie Canal Interpretive Center, the Canal Park, the Pioneer Village and the Towpath trail system. In late 2011, the group turned its attention to Houck Bridge. Workers lifted the bridge from its original abutments, then dismantled and moved the span to Delphi for restoration. The MWF volunteers cleaned, repaired and helped reassemble the bridge as a trail crossing across the canal.
The historic span -- now known as the Gray Bridge -- connects the Wabash & Erie Canal Interpretive Center and Canal Park with the historic Pierce Stone Barn, the home of the Carroll County Historical Society & Museum. The bridge is the third historic metal span to be rescued and restored for use on the canal trail system in Delphi, thanks to the canal group and the MWF Crew.
To learn more about the work of the Carroll County Wabash & Erie Canal, Inc. and the canal attractions in Delphi, visit www.wabashanderiecanal.org or visit the group’s Facebook page.