The bridge was closed Wednesday after an INDOT Crawfordsville District Bridge Inspector discovered a crack in one of the gusset plates.
According to Calder, gusset plates are the thick sheets of steel used to connect beams and girders to columns. They can also be used to connect truss members.
Calder further explained gusset plates might be fastened to a permanent member either by bolts, rivets, welding or by a combination of all three. They serve as a method of joining steel members together and also strengthen the joint of the bridge.
Calder said the crack was discovered during a bi-annual inspection.
"We communicated with others within the bridge section and decided it was in the best interest of the traveling public to close the bridge," Calder said.
Calder said the bridge was built in 1933 and underwent rehabilitation in 1977. She added it was scheduled for another rehabilitation project in 2015.
"They inspect the bridge every two years," Calder said.
She said for now, motorists will have to use a detour traveling south on SR 59 to SR 246 in Clay City, heading east through Patricksburg before coming back to SR 46.
Calder added when INDOT offers the public detours, other state roads are used first.
Officials' reminder: Drive safely
Owen County Sheriff's Department Deputy Greg A. Denny recently informed The Brazil Times safety concerns have popped up due to the increase in traffic flow on State Road 246 following the closure of SR 46 at the bridge over the Eel River west of Bowling Green.
Denny said OCSD has received several calls of "unsafe driving behavior" on SR 246, specifically near the town of Patricksburg.
"There is an elementary school that sits on (SR) 246," Denny said via e-mail.
"There are children that walk to the school of a morning and then home after school in the afternoon.
"Close to the school, there are no sidewalks. School personnel do monitor the crosswalk area to the school."
Denny stressed the safety of children and citizens that live, drive and walk along the route is a safety concern.