DELPHI, Ind. (NETWORK INDIANA): The Delphi railroad bridge where Abby Williams and Libby German were last seen in February will be renovated this summer.
Officials with Indiana Landmarks said Tuesday it plans to rescue and repair the dilapidated Monon High Bridge.
The bridge was built in 1891, but it hasn’t been used by current owner CSX since 1987. Indiana Landmarks included the High Bridge on its annual 10 Most Endangered list in 2016.
The group expects to acquire the title for the bridge from CSX in June, once certain repairs have been completed.
“We have to do a land survey and a soil study to verify that there is no environmental contamination before we take title to the bridge,” said Tommy Kleckner, director of Indiana Landmarks’ Western Regional Office. “As soon as we have title, we’ll repair the deteriorated stone and iron pier—one of the bridge’s main supports—that caused us to list it as endangered.”
Indiana Landmarks will cover the project’s $120,000 bill and hopes to recover most of the cost through various grants. CSX has agreed to provide the bridge and about a half-mile of land that will be used in the future to connect the bridge to a walking trail.
Once repairs are complete, ownership of the Monon High Bridge will be transferred to Deer Creek Township. Current plans call for the refurbished bridge to become part of Delphi’s extensive trail system.
“After Indiana Landmarks rebuilds the pier, the township’s work will not only make the High Bridge safe for pedestrians, it will create a breathtaking public overlook in an inspiring natural setting,” says Deer Creek Township board member David McCain.
Restored or not, the Monon High Bridge is believed to be the second-tallest bridge in the state, behind Bloomfield’s Tulip Trestle.