(flickr.com user Corey Ann)
One of the greatest works of architecture in the state of Indiana as well as the rest of the Midwest is the covered bridge design.
Back in 1937, Indiana had 202 covered bridges. Today, only are still standing. You can locate these 90 covered bridges on this website...
To me, the covered bridge design is both timeless as well as practical. While it is great to build modern steel bridges for main roads such as interstates, building covered bridges makes more sense for smaller roads and trails.
Where could we build a covered bridge in Evansville?
1. On The Greenway: Next month, we will get a brand new pedestrian bridge next to Lamasco Park. Unfortunately, it will not be a covered bridge. Why don't we make our next bridge on the Greenway a covered bridge?
2. Wesselman Park: Wesselman Park has a great nature image. Why don't we build a covered bridge between Wesselman Park and the Wesselman Park Golf Course?
3. Between Kleymeyer & Garvin Park: Back in 2002, city hall came up with a master plan that called for connecting Kleymeyer Park and Garvin Park. A bridge connecting these two parks cannot come quick enough. Why not build a covered bridge over Pigeon Creek?
4. Over the Lloyd Expressway between Wesselman Park & the State Hospital: Currently, there are plans to construct a pedestrian bridge over the Lloyd Expressway. Why don't we build a massive covered bridge over the Lloyd Expressway? This would be a great image for the area.
Although a covered bridge can be as large as a two lane highway or as small as a pedestrian path, I think we should first concentrate on building a covered bridge the size of a pedestrian path and then slowly expanding to our goal of building a covered bridge the size of a two lane highway.
What would be some advantages of building a covered bridge?
1. It would bring people to the area.
2. Each bridge can be unique.
3. You can design the side of the bridge to pay tribute to the people, events, and land that it surrounds.
4. Covered bridges keep road repairs to a minimum.
5. Covered bridges can be constructed to allow great viewing areas for pedestrians.
Lately, it seems like we waste millions upon millions of dollars on our bridges and don't get anything special in return. It's time that we got away from cookie cutter bridge designs and started exploring unique designs such as a covered bridge.
Will Evansville ever embrace covered bridges? I honestly do not know. But one thing I do know, it's time to pay tribute to Indiana's covered bridge history!
(flickr.com user crayolamom)