Indiana metal dealer pleads not guilty to demolishing bridge

A northwestern Indiana scrap-metal dealer has pleaded not guilty to a charge accusing him of demolishing a historic railroad bridge and selling the metal for $18,000.

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Kenneth R. Morrison of Whiting, who operates T&K Metals, was arraigned Thursday in U.S. District Court in Hammond. He was indicted last month on a charge of interstate transportation of stolen property.

Morrison allegedly dismantled the shuttered Monon Bridge nearly three years ago. The bridge was built in 1909 over the Grand Calumet River in Hammond and was the last remnant of the Hammond Meatpacking Co., one of the city's first industries.

It is one of only two bascule bridges — a type of drawbridge — remaining in the region.

Morrison is free on bond. He defended his actions in a 2015 interview, saying his removal of the structure saved the city money.