Darden Bridge & Also 4 Miles Bridge

If you love bridges or history, try to check out the Darden Street bridge on the north side of South Bend.  It is an old bridge, originally built in 1884.  The few times I have seen the bridge, I am always a little startled by it’s location.  I found out this is probably because it was moved and restored in a different location, away from heavy motor traffic.

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There is a specific type of architecture used on this bridge which makes it an endangered species.  It has something to do with a pratt and a truss, which might was well be greek, for all I know about bridges.  However, I do know it is beautiful. If the pictures seem dark, it’s because it was almost dark.  That tiny little dot is the moon, which seemed so big in my eyes.  *sigh*

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This is the original builder’s plaque from the bridge top.   Rather than putting it back on, when they moved it they put it on the ground in front of the bridge.  I guess it’s cheaper than making a new sign.  The bridge used to be called 4 Mile Bridge in it’s early days.  Someone told me it was because it floated four miles down the river one day, but was brought back and reassembled.  I am still looking for a creditable source to back it up, but is seems reasonable, since its not really four miles long.  Not even a little.

There is a small park attached to the bridge with sidewalks to walk on.  I did not walk it, but it seemed like it would have been a short one.  After walking across the bridge three or four times, stopping and admiring the view, reading the plaque and meandering through the park, you could probably kill a half hour.  This is a short destination trip, but fun to stop at if you are nearby.  Also great if you love the historical significance of old bridges.

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Pretty much the same view from the other side. I guess this is a super long bridge for the style, which is technologically significant.  Good thing for smart engineers.  All I can think of is that Internet game where you build bridges and try to keep them from collapsing.  Mine usually ended up in flames with cars exploding on cliffs.  Hmmmmm….

If you want to know more, there is a great website all about historical bridges.  It’s pretty fascinating, so check it out here.  Also, it turns out bridges can have their own Facebook pages.  I never knew. If you are interested in being a stretch of old steel’s best friend, check it out here.  Maybe it will  friend you back.

 

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