Collapsed historic bridge coming down while long-term solution is found

BOONE COUNTY, Ind. - A historic bridge, damaged earlier this month by a tractor, will come down, but the move isn't expected to be permanent.

On Saturday, Dec. 2, a tractor tried to pass over Holliday Bridge, north of Zionsville. The tractor hit the bridge, causing it to collapse.

The tractor was recently removed, and crews began taking the bridge apart this week.

“It was a public safety issue," said Craig Parks, the Boone County engineer. "We’ve had the sheriff’s office out here 24-7 just to keep the site safe. It draws a lot of attention."

The bridge will come apart, piece by piece, carefully. Parts that weren't damaged by the tractor will be salvaged. The bridge will be kept at the Boone County Highway Department until county leaders can determine a way to reassemble the bridge and put it back in its home over Eagle Creek along Holliday Road.

"Obviously, portions that were severely damaged will need to be re-fabricated to match what was there before but we’ll utilize as much of the existing pieces we can to put back," Parks said.

The engineer said it could take a year to come up with a solution.

Since the tractor was stuck on the bridge, the driver stuck around. It allowed the county and the driver to work with the driver's insurance provider to handle expenses of the repairs. Most of those details are still being ironed out.

The same can't be said for the bridge on North Creek Rd. that runs over Sugar Creek.

The bridge was damaged in November of 2016, but the driver of a piece of farm equipment left the scene and took the equipment, too.

"I’d love to be able to find the individual, so we can have an insurance company, like this one, help pay for the improvements to it,” Parks said.

Concerned residents about the Creek Road bridge have pulled together money for a reward to find who was responsible. The reward has grown to $4,000, said Parks.

The Boone County Highway Department maintains 190 bridges in the county. The Holliday Road bridge and Creek Road bridge are the only two the county has that are called "historic select," according to Parks.

“They’re metal truss bridges," Parks said. "They're unique. We've said to INDOT and the Federal Highway Administration that these are things we will and want to preserve in the county.”