Otter Creek covered bridge

In what some may say is an area “out in the middle of nowhere” in Ripley County, Indiana, travelers will stumble upon a unique and historic covered bridge. Built in 1884 by Thomas A. Hardman, this bridge has a unique history as well.

Closed to road traffic in 1996, it is now open only to foot traffic.

The Otter Creek Bridge, also known locally as the Holton Bridge, is constructed with the Howe truss system. This design was invented by a William Howe, an American architect born in 1803. The Howe truss design, patented in 1840, became one of the most popular structural designs and continued to see use in later metal bridge designs.

View of the 113 foot bridge over Otter Creek

Maj examining the deck timber supports

A good view of the Howe truss system, and the roof supports as well

Nice information signage!

The bridge is in excellent condition

The bridge in 1943 (courtesy bridgehunter.com)

The bridge roof was partially ripped off during a straight line wind storm just months after it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Repairs were completed quickly and the structure again opened to pedestrian traffic. This piece of American history is located in a peaceful and beautiful setting and worth the drive to see.

 

21 thoughts on “Otter Creek covered bridge

  1. It’s a beautiful bridge, why was it closed to all but foot traffic? Structural fatigue and age? It looks like one of the two trees is still standing based on the 1943 photo. Great post!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. This is so informative and interesting. I just watched ‘The Bridges of Madison County’ so have only just been introduced to covered bridges like these!

    Like

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