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Spotted … in Indiana: Residents help identify a dilapidated historic bridge.

Tom J Bechman 1, Editor, Indiana Prairie Farmer

May 16, 2020

2 Min Read
orange ‘road closed’ sign behind historic-looking wooden sign and comical smaller sign along a country road
SPOOF OR REAL? The orange “road closed” sign was posted by the county. The wooden signs were posted by unknown residents. The smaller, comical sign reads: “One of Randolph County’s hidden gems … LMAO.” Tom Chalfant

Just a mile or so off Indiana Highway 1 near the Davis-Purdue Agricultural Center in Randolph County, there’s a short stretch of road currently closed to traffic. While no one lives on the road, it provided a way for several local farmers to cut a few miles off their trips to certain fields.

The road is closed because a historic bridge, more than a century-old, finally gave way, with the bottom literally falling out. Tom Chalfant, a farmer and Randolph County commissioner, says the county closed the road because replacing it would be very expensive. It’s classified as a historic bridge, meaning it must be replaced to original condition under state and federal standards. That makes replacing it several times more expensive than just building a new bridge, he says.

Sometime after the bridge floor caved in and the road was closed, signs mysteriously appeared near the bridge, Chalfant reports. No signs, not even the historic-looking wooden sign identifying the bridge, were there before. Obviously, some locals felt it was worth making a few signs to express what they thought about the road they counted on being closed because the bridge couldn’t be replaced easily.

What unusual sights do you see driving through rural Indiana? Send us a usable picture and tell us the details behind what you see. If we use it in this new feature column, “Spotted … in Indiana,” we will send you a $25 gift card.

Related:Why counties can’t repair some bridges quickly

Digital photos that are large format and taken in a horizontal position are best. High-quality iPhone camera pictures are acceptable. Email your “spotting” to [email protected], or write to: Indiana Prairie Farmer, P.O. Box 247, Franklin, IN 46131. If you include a printed photograph, make sure it is as large as possible and of good quality.

About the Author(s)

Tom J Bechman 1

Editor, Indiana Prairie Farmer

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