News from the region
Delphi installs rescued iron bridge
For the second time in just a few months, Delphi welcomed a new historic metal bridge. In early September, crane operators carefully slid the Freedom Bridge into place across the Hoosier Heartland Highway on the city’s eastern edge. Years in the making, the project is yet another feather in the cap for this preservation-focused community.
Constructed in 1898 near the town of Freedom in Owen County, the Freedom Bridge was replaced by a new concrete span approximately ten years ago. Conner Prairie took ownership of the historic bridge with plans to re-erect it over White River to reach an expansion area for the history park. However, the plans never came to fruition, and the disassembled bridge languished in storage.
In the meantime, Carroll County Wabash & Erie Canal, Inc. had been looking for a historic bridge to connect the Monon High Bridge Trail across the new Hoosier Heartland Highway. Finding a span long enough proved to be a challenge, but the Pennsylvania truss Freedom Bridge fit the bill perfectly. Indiana Landmarks helped broker donation of the bridge by Conner Prairie to the City of Delphi. Although the city owns the bridge, the Indiana Department of Transportation helped fund the cost or re-erecting it over the highway.
The landmark span anchors the Freedom Bridge Plaza -- a pedestrian plaza on the east end of the bridge that will feature panels interpreting the heritage of Carroll County. The Freedom Bridge also reestablishes Monon High Bridge Trail’s connection from Delphi to the edge of the trail’s namesake railroad bridge.
For more information about the Monon High Bridge Trail, contact Carroll County Wabash & Erie Canal, Inc. at 765-564-6572.