2015 ACEC Indiana Awards
Houck Covered Bridge Rehabilitation and Putnam Co. New Bridge #625
USI Consultants and Putnam County Officials were presented and Engineering Excellence Merit Award for the Houck Covered Bridge Rehabilitation and Putnam County New Bridge #625. USI completed designing the rehabilitation of Houck Covered Bridge (Putnam County Bridge 125) and new bridge (Bridge 625) in Putnam County, Indiana. Construction of the new bridge and rehabilitation of covered bridge was completed under USI construction inspection and management. The covered bridge was originally built in 1880 to carry County Road 550 South over Big Walnut Creek, and is a prime example of early covered timber bridges in Indiana. It is located north of Reelsville in southwestern Putnam County. The project’s primary purpose is to rehabilitate the existing historic timber covered bridge and construct a new modern bypass bridge capable of handling the local traffic and farm equipment for this major bridge crossing. It is the only modern bridge crossing of Big Walnut Creek for approximately four miles.
Repairs to the Houck Covered Bridge include measures to help make this historic covered bridge a tourist attraction in Putnam County. Jacking and realigning the truss to eliminate leaning at the west end of the bridge, truss member repairs, roof replacement, siding repair/replacement with board and batten siding (existing board and batten siding will be reused and new will match existing), deck replacement, vertical iron rod repair/ replacement, repointing the existing abutments and pier, and installing fire retardant protection on the interior of the covered bridge. In addition to repairs to the structure, the project will include measures to help make this historic covered bridge a tourist attraction in Putnam County such as improved approaches for pedestrian access, a parking area and tree and shrub plantings.