Creek Road near Thorntown, Indiana runs alongside scenic Sugar Creek, bringing passersby to the low-lying shoulder of the creek. Driving along this picturesque road you come upon the Creek Road Bridge, also known as Boone County Bridge #32. The metal through-truss bridge, built circa 1910, has withstood the test of time, carrying vehicles, bikers, horses, and pedestrians across the expanse of Sugar Creek during each changing season, providing the opportunity to see nature at its fullest and finest. The bridge has also provided the most direct means for those living nearby to reach school, work, and shopping.
The bridge was included in the Indiana Historical Bridge Inventory in 2010 and became eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. The century-old bridge had extensive repair done in 2012. In November 2016, the bridge sustained major damage due to the passage of a large farm vehicle over the structure, rendering it impassable and forcing its closure to all traffic. The damage sustained in this incident, without rehabilitation, could lead to the permanent closure of the bridge.
A noteworthy consideration with permanent closure of Bridge 32 is the effect upon the young family of four children who live on County Road 350 West (Creek Road), north of Bridge 32, who no longer have daily school bus transportation or rural mail delivery. A great peril for the family is being left stranded by the periodic flooding of Sugar Creek. These events occur several times each year, leaving the family no exit when floodwaters engulf Creek Road north of their home, and no route from north or south for emergency personnel to reach them for rescue.
The Bridge 32 Preservation Committee was formed in late 2017 by concerned citizens in the area who share a singleness of purpose – the restoration and preservation of the Creek Road Bridge. The Committee hopes to partner with groups and individuals in the area to bring about the rehabilitation of this grand old structure.
Sam Burgess, Community Preservation Specialist, Indiana Landmarks Central Regional Office states:
“The local grassroots group known as the Bridge 32 Preservation Committee is now leading the charge to save the bridge again, and Indiana Landmarks is in conversation with both the Committee and the County regarding strategies for rescuing the structure anew.”
Donations to assist in this endeavor are welcome and can be made to the Bridge 32 Preservation Fund through the Community Foundation of Boone County at http://www.bridge32.com/donations.html. Your purchase of merchandise from this website also funds the preservation effort.
For more information, please contact Diana Freeman at 317-450-4510 or Mike Harlos at 317-750-4806.