Thursday, July 18, 2013

Abandoned Breeden's Bridge, Leavenworth, Indiana

Joining Harrison and Crawford counties, Breeden's bridge is located near the town of Leavenworth, Indiana, crossing over the Blue River as it winds towards the Ohio River.  Abandoned since the mid 1980s, its rusty skeleton provides an interesting backdrop to a popular swimming spot for locals.

North portal of the bridge, as seen through the brush and weeds.  This road was most recently used for logging purposes, and was abandoned because of its age and condition.  The I-beams blocking the path keep out would-be accident victims.
When it was abandoned, the decking was removed from the structure.  Brave (foolish?) locals still cross it by foot, something I would discourage.
Another shot of the deck, now just a strange looking cage.
Breeden's Bridge is strange in that it is actually two different spans, of different types, hauled to this site from two different locations.  Apparent in this picture is the curved shape of the Parker Truss on the left, and the angular Pratt Truss on the right.

Our research indicates that these stone piers date from a much earlier bridge, finished in 1871 and damaged during a flood in the 1880s.  The two spans present today were hauled here and installed in 1959.  Thus, we are actually looking at two different 100 year old spans, each built somewhere else, and then installed in the place of an even older bridge.  Weird! 
During this photo shoot, a few locals showed up and decided to do some bridge diving.  The water is fairly shallow, perhaps 8-9 feet in the middle, making this a dangerous idea.  I stayed around to watch anyhow.
One of the divers hitting the water, having jumped from the deck above.  As I was leaving, they were discussing climbing to the top of the span for an even higher fall.  One of them, having done it before, explained that hitting the water from that height actually hurt.  So it goes...

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