Projects Landscape Architecture & Planning

Freedom Bridge and Plazas over Hoosier Heartland Highway

Delphi, Indiana

Freedom Bridge was built in 1897 over the White River near Freedom, Indiana. The bridge was dismantled in 2002 and moved to Conner Prairie to be reconstructed there, but plans changed and the City of Delphi was fortunate to obtain the bridge for use as the new connecting link for the historic Monon Trail. The development of the Hoosier Heartland Highway (SR 25) severed the trail, but Freedom Bridge now spans the highway reconnecting the trail.

The project was developed thru combined funding from the Federal Transportation Enhancement and “Major Moves”. The design reconstructs the 302 foot thru truss bridge for a pedestrian loading. Subdued lighting highlights the structure for the public traveling on Hoosier Heartland Highway.

Landscape Architectural Features:
Plazas anchor both ends of Freedom Bridge serving trail users and the Delphi community. The plazas feature Delphi gateway signage and consist of decorative concrete pavers, limestone monolith benches, stone retaining walls and columns, interpretive sign panels, and a large focal element.

Limestone monolith benches and select pieces of the masonry signs were constructed from the original stone abutment, which was relocated with the bridge from the original construction site. Landscape plantings and low maintenance native grasses and wildflowers accentuate the plazas and provide edge definition.

Gateway Signage – limestone masonry veneered wall, and cap and vertically placed limestone monolith panels. Lettering (DELPHI) is with stud-mounted 30-inch painted aluminum letters displayed across the limestone monoliths. Steel plate artwork replicating the City logo spans the top of the sign above the monolith panels and lettering.

Masonry Interpretive Signage – limestone monoliths from the original bridge are set vertically on new stone and masonry veneered walls with limestone caps and stud-mounted interpretive panels.

Focal Element – a large masonry wall with laser-etched granite veneer panels creates a full-scale image of a steam locomotive representative of the Monon Railroad era. The wall/image is located in the east plaza, on axis with the bridge, allowing trail users to view the dramatic artwork as they cross from west to east. Concrete pavers are arranged in the plaza surface representing the former railroad tracks.