BELL FORD COVERED BRIDGE

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At approximately 1:30 PM on January 2, 2006, the remaining span of the Bell Ford Covered Bridge collapsed into the river. Bell Ford (also known as Bell's Ford) Covered Bridge crossed the East Fork of White River in Section 12, Township 6 North, and Range 5 East, where it sat beside State Road 258, just west of Seymour, Jackson County. This was the last Post Truss covered bridge standing in the world. Considered a transition between the wood and iron bridges, the Post Truss utilized iron rods in the truss and roadway framing, while the lower chord was constructed of cast iron. As originally built, this double span structure had a length of 325 feet; however, the west half of this bridge was blown down during a storm in February of 1999 and pieces were salvage from the river in hopes that a restoration could be made. Less than 3 days after the collapse of the east half in 2006 (by the 4th) heavy equipment was being moved in to undertake another salvage effort. Much of the preparation work to restore the west half had been completed so it will be interesting to see if Bell Ford will be resurrected from her watery grave. Built by Robert Patterson in 1875, Bell Ford Covered Bridge had a portal clearance 16 feet 6 inches wide by 12 feet 6 inches high. The road bypassed this structure in 1970 and was listed as #14-36-03 in the 1989 World Guide.

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