Hennepin Canal

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The Hennepin canal was first conceived in 1834 as a connection between the Illinois and Mississippi River, but financial problems in the state delayed many public works projects. Pressure for transportation that was cheaper than rail convinced Congress to authorize preliminary surveys on the project in 1871. Construction began in 1892 and the first boat went through in 1907, reducing the distance from Chicago to Rock Island by 419 miles (674 km). While the canal was under construction, however, the Corps of Engineers undertook a widening of the locks on both the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers. The new locks on those rivers were twenty and forty feet wider than the canal locks, making them obsolete before their initial use. In the 1930s the Hennepin Canal was used primarily for recreational traffic. The Hennepin Canal, which at one time was known as the Illinois and Mississippi Canal, was open to boat traffic until 1951 at no cost. Ice made from the canal's frozen waters was sold during the winters to help pay the canal's maintenance costs.

The entire canal is now on the register of histroic places


BNSF - Hennepin Canal Bridge (Calona) (Henry County, Illinois)
Pony/through plate girder bridge over Hennepin Canal on BNSF (former CB&Q)
Open to traffic

BNSF - Hennepin Canal Bridge (Wyanet) (Bureau County, Illinois)
Bridge over Hennepin Canal on BNSF RR (former CB&Q)
Open to traffic

CB&Q - Hennepin Feeder Canal Bridge (Whiteside County, Illinois)
Pony/through plate girder bridge over Hennepin Feeder Canal on Abandoned CB&Q Railway
Open to pedestrians only

CB&Q - Hennepin Feeder Canal Bridge #2 (Whiteside County, Illinois)
Abandoned pony/through plate girder bridge over Hennepin Feeder Canal on Abandoned CB&Q Railway
Derelict/abandoned

Hennepin Canal Aqueduct #1 (Bureau County, Illinois)
Built between 1892-1907 Replaced pedestrian bridge to carry trail
Lost Bridge over East Bureau Creek on Hennepin Canal
Lost / Replaced with pedestrian bridge to restore bike path

Hennepin Canal Aqueduct #2 (Bureau County, Illinois)
Built between 1892-1907. Lost in 1998 flood.
Hennepin Canal aqueduct over Big Bureau Creek
Lost in 1998 flood. Replaced with pedestrian bridge to restore bike path

Hennepin Canal Aqueduct #3 (Bureau County, Illinois)
Built between 1892-1907
Hennepin Canal aqueduct over West Bureau Creek
Open to pedestrian & canoe traffic

Hennepin Canal Aqueduct #4 (Bureau County, Illinois)
Built between 1892-1907
Hennepin Canal aqueduct over Cole Creek
Open to pedestrian and canoe traffic

Hennepin Canal Aqueduct #5 (Henry County, Illinois)
Built between 1892-1907
Aqueduct over Mud Creek on Hennepin Canal NW of Annawan
Open to canoe and pedestrian traffic

Hennepin Canal Aqueduct #6 (Henry County, Illinois)
Built between 1892 - 1907
Aqueduct over Spring Creek on Hennepin Canal 3 mi NW of Atkinson
Open to canoe & pedestrian traffic

Hennepin Canal Aqueduct #7 (Henry County, Illinois)
Built between 1892 - 1907
Aqueduct over Geneseo Creek on Hennepin Canal
Open to canoe & pedestrian traffic

Hennepin Canal Aqueduct #8 (Henry County, Illinois)
Built between 1892-1907
Lost Aqueduct over Green River on Hennepin Canal
Removed. Replaced with pedestrian bridge to carry trail over river

Hennepin Canal Bridge 10 (Bureau County, Illinois)
Warren pony truss bridge over Hennepin Canal on Hennepin Canal Trail
Open to pedestrians

Hennepin Canal Bridge 10A (Bureau County, Illinois)
Built 1931; rehabilitated 1982; moved in 2011
Through truss bridge over Hennepin Canal on CH 8 in Wyanet
Moved to a new location and replaced by a new bridge,

Hennepin Canal Bridge 15 (Bureau County, Illinois)
Pratt through truss bridge over Hennepin Canal on Hennepin Canal Parkway Trail
Open to pedestrians

Hennepin Canal Bridge 24 (Henry County, Illinois)
Abandoned through truss bridge over Hennepin Canal on E 2600th St 2 mi NW of Annawana
Abandoned

Hennepin Canal Bridge 36 (Henry County, Illinois)
Crossing is shown on a 1911 township map.
Pony/through plate girder bridge over Hennnepin Canal Lock 24 on old Grange Rd alignment just N or Geneseo
Open to pedestrians

Hennepin Canal Bridge 6 (Bureau County, Illinois)
Built 1900
Pratt through truss bridge over Hennepin Canal on 1150N, 1.2 mi. north of Tiskilwa
Closed

Hennepin Canal Bridge 7 (Bureau County, Illinois)
Abandoned pratt through truss bridge over Hennepin Canal on an old alignment of 1700 E St. NW of Tiskilwa
Abandoned

Hennepin Canal Bridge 8 (Bureau County, Illinois)
Truss bridge over Hennepin Canal on an old alignment of CR 1280 NW of Tiskilwa
Open to pedestrians

Hennepin Canal Bridge 9 (Bureau County, Illinois)
Truss bridge over Hennepin Canal on an access to the Hennepin Canal Parkway Trail/an abandoned alignment of CR 1550 in Wyanet
Open to pedestrians only

Hennepin Canal Feeder Aqueduct #9 (Bureau County, Illinois)
Built 1904
Bridge over Green River on Hennepin Canal Feeder
Open to pedestrian and canoe traffic

Hennepin Canal Lock 21 lift Bridge (Bureau County, Illinois)
Built 1904; rehabilitated 1976
Vertical lift bridge over Hennepin Canal on Park Access Road
Open to traffic

Hennepin Canal Lock 22 lift Bridge (Bureau County, Illinois)
Canal opened 1907
Pony/through plate girder bridge over Hennepin Canal on CR-310 East (Abandoned Alignment)
Open to pedestrians

Hennepin Canal Lock 26 Lift Bridge (Henry County, Illinois)
Built in 1904
Vertical lift bridge over Hennepin Canal on Hennepin Canal Trail 3 mi E of Colona
Open to pedestrians

IAIS - Hennepin Canal Bridge (Calona) (Henry County, Illinois)
Built 1900
Pony/through plate girder bridge over Hennepin Canal on Iowa Interstate Railroad
Open to traffic

IAIS - Hennepin Canal Bridge (N) (Bureau County, Illinois)
Built around 1907
Bridge over Hennepin Canal on Iowa Interstate RR (former Rock Island)
Open to traffic

IAIS - Hennepin Canal Bridge (S) (Bureau County, Illinois)
Bridge over Hennepin Canal on Iowa Interstate RR(former Rock Island)
Open to traffic

RI - Hennepin Canal Bridge (Rock Island County, Illinois)
Built ca. 1895; Replaced in the late 60s/early 70s
Lost Bridge over Hennepin Canal on Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad
Replaced

UP - Hennepin Canal Bridge (Bureau County, Illinois)
Built 1905
Lattice through truss bridge over Hennepin Canal on UPRR (former C&NW)


US67 Rock River Bridge (South Channel) (Rock Island County, Illinois)
Built 1948; rehabilitated 1985
Steel through arch bridge over Rock River & Hennepin Canal on US 67
Open to traffic