Today in Indiana, we’re mourning the loss of a bridge. Yes, a bridge.
Here’s how the Moscow covered bridge USED to look.
It crossed the Big Flatrock River, in Moscow, Indiana, Rush County. It was a double-span “Burr Arch Truss” structure about 346 feet long (including the overhangs). It was built in 1886 by Emmet L. Kennedy, and was the only double-span bridge built by the Kennedy family that was still standing.
Well, here’s how the bridge looks right now:
Thankfully, no one was on it when the tornado hit.
You know ... Indiana doesn’t get as many tornados as Kansas or Oklahoma, but we get our fair share, and we’re pretty much used to them (or as much as anyone can be to a natural disaster). But tornados are rather unique natural disasters in that they’re intensely personal -- it’s not at all unusual for one to wipe out an entire building and yet leave all of the surrounding buildings completely untouched.
When a tornado takes out a local landmark, it hurts in ways that are hard to explain. Sure, you can rebuild, but it’s never quite the same, because community history has been lost, and lost to everyone.
We’re very proud of our covered bridges in Indiana. They’re beautiful. Parke County has more covered bridges in one concentrated area than any other place in the world (and, in fact, is called the “Covered Bridge Capital of the World”). Rockville, Spencerville, Mansfield, and Veedersburg throw popular “Covered Bridge Festivals” every year. The longest existing covered bridge in the world (at this writing) is in Medora, Indiana (built in 1875, 458 feet long, including the overhangs).
Indiana had 91 covered bridges still standing (originally, there were hundreds). We’ve just lost one. That hurts.