Community News

Shelby County to celebrate Bridge 13 placement at Blue River Memorial with ribbon-cutting ceremony

The Shelby County Commissioners will hold a public ceremony to celebrate the long-awaited relocation of Shelby County’s Historic Truss Bridge #13.  Originally built in 1889, this structure has been rehabilitated and now carries a shared-use path, the Blue River Trail, over a man-made water feature at Blue River Memorial Park in Shelbyville, Indiana.    


Bridge #13 History:  The original structure was a 93-foot-long, narrow iron and steel Pratt truss, carrying one lane of traffic on CR 875 West over Buck Creek in northeast Shelby County. 


In 2011, the bridge was closed to traffic due to damage and deterioration, with a sufficiency rating of 13. The bridge was classified as a “Select” Historic Bridge and described as an outstanding example of its type, but best suited for non-vehicular use based on condition and structural capacity constraints. The bridge was eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places, but due to technicalities, the Shelby County bridge project was subjected to a full Section 106 process, including a Memorandum of Agreement.  An Alternatives Analysis determined the most “prudent and feasible” alternative was replacement of the existing bridge (which was completed in May 2019 and designated as “Bridge 219”),along with relocation of the historic truss, which now resides in Shelbyville Indiana’s Blue River Memorial Park.  The bridge was marketed for re-use for a period of six months, followed by a public hearing to complete the public involvement process.  Construction was completed in July 2019. 


This beautifully restored historic truss bridge sits back near the Little Blue River, within walking distance just south of the ball diamond parking lot at Blue River Memorial Park.  The ribbon-cutting will take place at this site on Monday, August 5, 2019 at 10:00am.