This old railroad bridge is back in service as a pedestrian bridge. It is part of the Kickapoo Rail Trail. The trail is officially open on August 25, 2017. The tressell and ties were retrofit with six prefab steel frame bridges with timber decking.
This bridge was replaced in 2016
One of the photos asks "I wonder what the numbers mean?" (next to each bolt) They would be the tightening sequence. The engineers want the bolts torqued to a very specific torque value, and in the sequence shown to even out the stress on the cable clamp. Then the nuts have "witness marks" so that an inspector can see if the nut has come loose.
CLOSED TO CARS
Satellite imagery shows this bridge has been removed.
Satellite image shows this bridge has been removed and replaced by a new bridge.
Thanks for the comment. I have edited this listing to reflect the fact that the bridge is on private property.
In your listing for this bridge it states that it is open to traffic. This is certainly not the case. The road to the bridge is privately owned by my family as well as by my neighbor. Due to the easy access off of Rt.52 we have had many problems with trespassers. Again, this is private property and not open any kind of traffic be it vehicular, foot or otherwise.
Regards, Dan Davis
I was driving around with a pal that lives around urbana/ champaign and we ended up on this bridge, Im pretty sure. When i was driving it was pitch black and this bridge really caught me off guard. I've been looking on google earth and topographic maps to try and find out what it was, I think this was it.
Nominated for National Register:
Field visit July 2, 2017: This pony truss is getting quite grown over. The classic photo of the pony truss with the through truss in the background is not possible anymore, at least in the summer.
Field visit July 2, 2017: The deck on this bridge is in poor condition with missing and loose boards. I actually felt more comfortable walking across the nearby Sugar Creek Bridge (which is closed to traffic) compared with this bridge.
When I was researching this bridge, I found that a lattice truss was built here in 1879. If I recall, it was even the same size. I'll have to see if I can find that book again. The wood piles have been updated over time I'm sure. Also, I wouldn't expect a railroad to be using cut stone on a spur like this.
I would expect that this bridge replaced the 1879 bridge and that it was not new when it was put here. Railroads had a history of moving older bridges from main lines to secondary lines or spurs when the mainline is upgraded. The pilings this bridge set on don't look like what one would expect on a bridge of this size. Cut stone would be more likely in 1879.
Good news from Carpentersville!
The individual trying to preserve the bridge has found the deed to the bridge; which states the property should be in the cities ownership. However, there are conflicting documents. Once these are resolved, the preservation talks can move forward.
Field visit 6/24/17: Construction is well underway on the replacement bridge with assembly of the new through arch in progress. Various sections of the arch are sitting on nearby barges.
Nathan and Roger,either way it is actually exciting seeing underneath these bridges on the rivers.They ought to do every river.Would be very interesting,i think.
That is an interesting development. It is interesting they went down some lesser traveled routes like under the Chicago and Alton Railroad Bridge... I wonder if they will venture further down the Sanitary and Ship Canal in the future...
I just found that Google put their street view camera on a boat on the Chicago River. It captured some great views of a number of interesting bridges, with even good views of the undersides of bridges, including this bridge. It went up the North Branch on both sides of Goose Island to North Avenue, down the South Branch to Damen Avenue, and out the Main Branch through the Chicago Locks and all around in Lake Michigan past Navy Pier.
This will be fun to explore!
Thanks for sharing your story. These bridges hold a lot of memories for a lot of people.
My parents were married in December 1931 and settled in Savanna, Illinois. My mother and her relatives were from Sabula, Iowa. Until the bridge was opened for traffic on 31 December 1932, the only way to get from Savanna to Sabula, was either by ferry boat or the Milwaukee Road railroad bridge.
I came into the picture on 13 December 1932. My folks told me that at the ripe old age of two weeks, they bundled me up and drove over the bridge to visit my grandparents in Sabula just a day or two after the bridge opened. So, technically, the old span is two weeks younger than I am. Now I'm wondering, at age 84, who will out live the other... me or the bridge.
I was thinking about Vanderburgh #81 which Dr. Cooper has listed in his database as a Lattice Bedstead, when I made my previous statement. While there isn't photo evidence to prove it was indeed a bedstead he is generally pretty thorough in his assessments. This bridge was somewhat similar to the others, but did feature a arched lower chord.
But then I remembered the one in Iroquois County.Illinois that features a conventional Bedstead with one of these Lattice structures attached to it. Looking at this one closer I see that it is indeed NOT a bedstead.
Back to the Hoosier State, we also have this surviving non-bedstead Warren pony that is simply a lightweight structure with vertical endposts.
That was my thoughts as well - none of these being bedsteads. I have not had a chance to visit one of these bridges to inspect it. The closest type that I have been able to inspect is this one, which I want to document thoroughly next time I am on I-70 in Western Kansas:
^ Definitely not a bedstead.
All examples of this style of bridge (lightweight double Warren composed of light angles only plus a horizontal angle running thru middle of truss) have NOT been bedsteads. In the absence of supporting photos, I see no reason why this one should be a bedstead. There are more of these bridges in Missouri plus a single example in Michigan.
I'm more inclined (Or lack thereof) to believe this is a Lattice bedstead and not a vertical endpost pony. There aren't many of these around so it would be nice if they would preserve it!
...And yes, the pun was intended!
Not being able to edit my comments, I thought I should provide a bit of a clarification for those who might be new to this website and perhaps unfamiliar with bedsteads. A true bedstead features vertical endposts that extend down through the deck and form the substructure of the bridge. If the vertical endposts stop at the bottom chord, then the bridge is not a true bedstead.
The one upstream does not appear to be a beadstead to me. These are some interesting bridges.
Reviving an old thread...
Looking at the photos, I can't tell if this is a true beadstead or a pony with vertical endposts. It is significant either way, so hopefully Illinois will select it for preservation.
I think I have a picture as well. My grandpa took me to the crash site. I remember seeing that line going through Morton IL before the crash.
The bridges have been removed and the CM&G cut has been filled with ballast rock to support the two CN lines that pass over. All that is still visible is one small corner of the old cement bridge support.
When I was 5 years old my Dad had taken my Grandfather and I to watch the demolition of the old J.B. bridge.
We had watched it from a wheel house in either the Wendy Ann or the Helen B tug boat.
It was about 30 years ago and I was very young but I will never forget that and being able to watch it from a St. Louis tug boat. AWESOME
That's the one Luke.Thanks.Never hurts to ask.
I looked on the map and saw another bridge on the Iowa side of the Mississippi River.If you follow the rail line ROW you will see it.Looks like a wooden trestle.Is this bridge on Bridgehunters?
As always Luke I thank you for your bridge acumen
The lift span was the successor bridge to the one this entry is for.
This is my sketch of the scissor bridge opened since world war 1/ world war 2 If anybody enjoys it
That is too bad. This county had an incredible collection of truss bridges. One of these days, when metal truss bridges are rare, they will be an attraction like covered bridges are today. Maybe someday you will see a Whipple Truss gracing a tourism brochure...maybe...
As far as I know the arch bridge is the only historic bridge that the county has even thought about preserving. Otherwise, historic bridges in this county are only seen as an irritant by farmers and dealt with in the same way as rodents on the farm: total mass extermination.
Iroquois County is still on my bucket list - mostly because of the P.E. Lane through arch bridge. Hopefully, that one will be preserved as it is unique.
Not good news considering what county it is in!
Unfortunately, This bridge is now closed.
Daniel nice find!
It appears that the bridge that was once here has been removed. The photos were taken on May 7th, 2017.
4/31/17 Found the crossing by accident returning from a business trip. It was worth the dollar to cross and the highlight of the day.
Spotted this on google earth. Any information would be great.
nice!! love it
Few more Pics
This what happen in May of 1988 a collision with a huge ship.
This is the Blues Brothers and their Quote.
Great video,guys!Showed the bridge without anybody getting on it and walking on or under it and not getting hurt.I did notice from the video if i'm not mistaken that it looks like red bricks were used for the deck.Anybody else see that?
A couple of young guys from Danville recently posted this extended video on YouTube of the Mill Street Bridge that they took with a drone camera. Really great stuff--lots of views rarely seen or otherwise impossible to show due to inaccessibility and/or danger. The music is a bit annoying (not my taste), but you can always mute the sound. Worth checking out!
As far as I know this was never a bridge, per say. It was a dam across a special narrow section of the canal meant to be used as an emergency shut-off device if the gates of the locks ever failed. The through-truss section was fixed in place parallel with the centerline of the canal and the dam would swing across the canal underneath it and shut off the flow of water. It was literally a butterfly valve.
Rattle Snake Ferry on Big Muddy River circa 1934.
Photo posted on U.S. Forest Service - Shawnee National Forest FaceBook page. Courtesy of the Forest History Society, Durham, N.C.
Hats off to google maps for putting street view on the river!Should do it everywhere!
Nice piece about this bridge this morning on WBEZ (NPR Chicago), focusing on the bridgetender's house, and its role in the Great Chicago Flood of 1992, which happened 25 years ago today. Audio story includes interesting history of the bridge, including its origin as a pathway between two taverns, the time a taxicab flew off it into the river while it was being lifted, and of course the Great Chicago Flood in 1992 which was caused by pilings driven to protect the bridge from errant barges. Some nice photos.
How did you get these beautiful photos of this structure?
Missing plaque is a Detroit Bridge & Iron Works plaque, signifiying this bridge was likely built in the 1890s. Additional DB&IW structures along this line were built between 1890 and 1895.
Zooming in and clicking into the google maps page for the "subway" allows access to some recent photos. It appears he trestle overhead has been built up into an embankment.
Also this bridge shows up in Bing aerial imagery, so there's also that.
This is actually a common situation on this website. The bridge is open to traffic above, and thus is considered "open to traffic"; despite not being open to traffic below.
In addition to Mr. Conro's accurate statement, I believe both of us can verify that this bridge is not "open to traffic".
The original plan in 1972 was to replace it with a culvert. While the covering might not be ideal as far as historic appreciation goes, the bridge wouldn't be here today had it not been covered as part of that alternative plan.
Also, a big part of the reason for the low covering was to limit truck traffic and weight on the bridge. The road the bridge is on is a cut through between major state highways. So it wasn't just for show.
VIVANT ET MAGNUM PARCEM STATIONE PONTIS
I was scared almost to death every time I crossed this bridge! It was too narrow and if a overweight person came from the opposite direction it barely possible to clear!
If it was removed, why is the status still "Open to pedestrians"?
Thank you for the post. Made my morning.. Unfortunately seems this bridge was plagued by trolls as we can see by the comment section..
The bridge is officially reopened as of 3/20/2017 as a pedestrian/bicycle only bridge after complete rehabilitation.
My mother used to tell me about how she and her family would go swimming in the creek under the bridge. She said there were huge Billy Gars (fish) in the creek, but they never bothered them. My great grandfather, Marion Rice, owned the general store in Fall Creek, next to the RR tracks, and earlier, he owned the farmhouse with the large barn and silos with the turquoise roofs at the intersection of the present day highway (36?) and the old highway 57 (I think) that runs from Quincy to Marblehead and then Fall Creek. I don't live in that area so am just going from memory.
My mom also said there was an old school house in the Fall Creek area where local folks used to picnic. I think the school was closed but the area people would use the school grounds for picnics.
The train would run from Quincy to Marblehead to Fall Creek and beyond. My grandmother would take the train to visit her relatives (Hickersons, Rice, Rollins) in the county.
So sad that so many area artifacts are either falling down or have been replaced. The last time I was in the area with my mother (who was born in Quincy), we drove up a road and ran across a scenic overlook that had an historical marker about Fall Creek, etc. It was looking pretty ragged at the time. I went back after Mom's death and couldn't even get up the road. It was closed. Very sad. I know my relatives in Adam's County pay some seriously high taxes. Why aren't the historical areas being maintained? They mean a lot to some people. Do we have to start a campaign? I look at what's left of Creightown Cemetery outside of Marblehead and it breaks my heart, how so much of it has been swallowed up by the trees and field grass. Not to mention the damage and destruction to the remaining headstones. Isn't there anyone there, in the area, who still cares and can do something about it? I live far away but I'd be willing to try to help!
Yep that's correct it was a McDonald's drive thru prank
Is that why he only makes himself appear on McDonalds food nowadays?
........back to that same old place, sweet home Chicago.......
God used the ship to hit this rail bascule bridge for the fact the blues brother's had a saying quote they're never get caught they're on the mission from God and God is not mocked Galatians 6:7, now I see why the Pontokratis ship had struck it in May of 1988 because of that quote!
I don't know who handles maintenance, but this bridge badly needs it.
The infamous unsolved murder at this bridge may have been solved.
I was ten when the woman's body was discovered and living in nearby Charleston.
It was a double tracked bridge until 1989. They cut half of it off, centered it and raised it a few feet so the C&NW could get container trains under it on all three tracks. For a couple years before that, the C&NW reconditioned a fourth track (on the south) that they had dug lower to clear the bridge. That track was taken out shortly after the work on the bridge was completed.
From the satellite photo it appears the bridge is gone.
I am saddened to lose this bridge. First time I crossed it was in 1966. I was 8. We lived on the other side of Illinois and were on a family outting for the day and drove across this bridge. I got on my great grandpas lap and hung my head out the passenger window. I will never forget looking through the decking to the river below. We threw pennies out the window, into the river for luck. I didnt have any idea where we were back then, but I never forgot that bridge. Fast forward to 2002. I bought my first Harley, which I still have, and went on a ride to the river with some friends. I couldn't believe it when we turned onto this bridge. It was my long lost friend. As we rode across, I teared up with emotional memories of my first trip across that bridge. The guys thought I was nuts when I turned around and rode back over it again, then returned. I have rode out to that bridge at least once every year since, just to ride over it and remember. Goodbye old friend. You will be gone, but not forgotten......
What a great bridge - complete with laced endposts, lattice portal bracing, interesting plaque, and date inscriptions on the abutments! I hope that the folks in Illinois keep this one around.
Maybe it's the 9th street that you have posted. Just guessing probably this one.
or maybe 9th?
Luke and Doug cant tell which is 16th and which is 9th?
we had a cabin in the area as a youngster should have pictures of the wreck somewhere....
The old steel bridge is still there. It's buried under tons of dirt.
I remember seeing a photo of the repaired bridge, and the east end of the bridge was a timber pile bridge, but I didn't notice how the river was spanned. After the concrete "twin 50" concrete arch was built, the Peoria & Eastern RR started running trains across the old steel bridge and dumping dirt. One article mentioned that as of May 10, 1903, 150,000 yards of fill had been dumped and it was not yet up to the level of the old steel bridge.
The plan was to fill in the area up to the level of the old bridge, then the tracks would have to raised another 20 feet. That would eliminate the grade that began at Chandler Street, and would allow elimination of the fire-prone wooden bridge over the tracks at Logan Ave. There wasn't any mention as to where they were getting all the dirt.
I wish the small photo was a little larger. Since the steel bridge isnít showing, I think that shows the bridge after the fill work was done.
Following are a couple of articles from the newspaper. I can't guarantee the accuracy of the math. Journalists like to write, but I'm not they can add all that well.
May 10, 1903
Has been dumped into P&E Fill, Yet it is not up to trestle.
Since the work of filling in the new arch over the North Fork was commenced a few weeks ago the work has gone on steadily and the Italians employed there have frequently been ordered to work an hour or two overtime as it is desirable to complete the work as soon as possible. More trains than are now in the service here would be in the way of those now working else more trains would be placed in the service, but with the number now working there dirt and gravel is being piled into the hole very rapidly.
More than 150,000 yards of dirt and gravel have been dumped at the bridge or more than 200,000 tons and yet the fill is not up to the steel frame of the old trestle and will not be for a day or two, though by the last of next week it is thought the dirt will have reached to the old trestle work and then will remain only a few hundred cars to be put in until a force of men will begin raising the track. After the fill is completed to the trestle work it then remains for the men to raise it a good twenty feet more, which will require many thousand cars of ballast.
There has already been dumped at that point more the 200 train loads of nearly 4,000 cars. In all about 250,000,000 pounds of ballast have already been unloaded there and it will readily be seen that there is a vast amount of work to done on the structure yet before it is completed.
May 5, 1903
Chandler Street and Harmon Avenue crossings will be raised some.
The plans for the raising of the tracks of the P&E at the east end of the new arch are now in the hands of the city engineer and, as the improvement will not only benefit the railroad company but the city in general, it is probable that they will be approved as they stand.
The tracks at Logan Avenue will be raised about twenty so that the viaduct over Logan Avenue will be done away with and a grade crossing takes its place. At that place and also at Grant Street there is a cut of several feet so that the raise of the tracks will not affect the streets but at Chandler Street the tracks will have to be raised a few feet, but the raise will be so little that with the street sloping up to the track it will be hardly noticeable as is the case with Jackson Street. Harmon Avenue will be disturb but a few inches and just beyond that street the grade runs out, though on the bridge or arch just completed the raise is about forty feet. When completed the tracks will be so near level that the trains which now run at high speed through the western portion of the city so they can easily get a start up the hill can easily get up without a run and they will then have to conform to the ordinance governing the speed of the trains in the city limits.
MANY VISIT THE ARCH
May 5 1903
Sunday being a nice warm day quite a large number of people were attracted to the North Fork river where the P&E arch has just been completed. It is estimated that more than three hundred visitors viewed the great piece of engineering during the day and yet at no time was there more that fifty people on the structure. The general opinion was that the work was a credit to both contractors and to the company.
I am trying to determine who the architect/designer/builder that built this bridge.
I've heard that Henry Waeltz might have had something to do with the construction.
My guess is it's a privately owned crossing for a local farm owner
The ca. 1910 postcard reveals that an endcap and finial had already gone missing. I like the fact that the postcard was intellectually honest about this.
The bridge "deck" is in the process of being replaced.
Satellite photo shows this bridge has been removed.
Bridge is now threatened, and a group is organizing in Long Grove to save it. Newspaper article: http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20170111/news/170119721/
It's a kind of a crazy bridge - a 1906 metal pony truss that gained a covering in 1972.
I can't imagine the piers or the approach are anywhere near original. Most trestle pieces are replaced every 30-40 years from what I've seen. Even with this being a spur, a good bet is they were last updated in the first couple decades of the 20th century
I stumbled upon this article which suggests although Chicago Northwestern RR operated the line, that Mr. Carpenter's company funded the bridge, so maybe the ownership by landowner (not railroad line) is a result of this event, over a century ago?
I agree with Clark, the substructure appears to be non-original.
On a sidenote, there were once other truss bridges in town, per this historical photo in the article.
I can't imagine these are the original supports. The picture of the bearing plate sitting atop wood seems wrong.
When I researched the bridge, it mentioned that this structure was built here in 1879. The line was built as a spur to serve industries located along the opposite bank of the river.
Has this bridge been relocated? I see wooden pilings holding it up. This doesn't seem like a system that would have endured as long as the bridge. I associate spans of this age with ashlar piers and abutments.
The bridge is not scheduled for demolition, but likely could succumb to flooding in the near future. As for how Otto ended up with the bridge, I assume it was on land they purchased. I know the owner has expressed interest in preserving the structure.