FINALLY! getting around to posting some pics from 2.5 years ago following the massive storm that hit West Central Illinois. I showed up at work that day and was told to go home w/ power pretty minimal in Quincy, IL. So, I decided I'd go bridge hunting and headed towards western Adams County and Brown County. Very productive hunt July 14th, 2017.
To clarify some rumors forming in here...
The bridges do NOT share a counterweight. If that was the case, then both bridges would be operational instead of the CN bridge being the only one operable.
Doing a second look, I definitely agree that itís likely around 1900-1910 instead of 1877. The report where the 1877 date came from likely referred to the previous bridge, which I assume was a lattice deck truss.
The CNW built a number of early riveted connection bridges. These include the nearby 1879 bridge in Carpentersville, as well as a number of early 1880s pony trusses.
The oldest rivet-connected truss spans are the 1883 Rock Village Bridge in MA and the 1880 approach spans of the Redstone Railroad Bridge in MN.
That said, if the 1911 date for this similar bridge is correct, it seems like that would be more likely for this one too.
The connections are all riveted, which is making me question that date...I could be wrong, but it seems to me that rigid connections did not come into use until after the turn of the 20th century.
Without maintenance and barring a flood or similar disaster, the bridge should last at least 100 years. However, a unique bridge like this should be preserved.
On a side note, I looked into the true build date of this bridge. While researching at the Chicago & North Western Historical Society archives, I was not able to confirm the 1877 date; but I also did not find information to reject it either.
The railroad does not use this bridge. The rails have been removed from both ends of the bridge. I don't long it will last with no maintenance.
The golf course has been closed and not maintained for the last four to five years. Don't know if the bridge is still there.
This structure was replaced by DeKalb county. Construction began in the fall of 2013 and was completed in the spring of 2015.
Kudos to Gary Ward, President, Lockport Area Genealogical and historical Society for solving the mystery. The bridge was built in 1907, and was the entrance to the Illinois Steel Co. coke ovens, which supplied the coke to the Joliet Iron and Steel Works.A postcard photo can be seen by Googling Illinois Steel co., Coke Ovens, Joliet IL. An aerial view of the Steel plant ruins, oven ruins and the bridge can be seen on Google Earth at Joliet Steel Historical site.
This is the former Soo Line mainline from Minneapolis to Chicago via Wisconsin. I believe it was laid down in 1886/7.
When do you think that railroad line was laid down? Not the bridge but the line itself. I looked at an 1891 map and it's already there. Also, another question, did trains occ. stop at these places especially on super hot days to allow people to cool off a bit? I always wondered if these places sometimes became a short stop swimming hole.
The bridge is approximately 1/4 mile long, with 2 angle changes,and crosses over 6 properties, according to Will county tax maps.
This is a really peculiar bridge. Does anybody have info on it?
Looks like a late 1880s or early 1890s truss to me..
My parents had permission to go on the property and this was a surprise for them. This is on private property so please ask for permission to go to it.
How did you access this beautiful bridge? I know in that stretch from Pearl to Louisiana that there are more like it as well.
Replacement in place, scheduled to open in December. Man, that is one very ugly MOB! No historic value!!! http://qctimes.com/lifestyles/recreation/long-awaited-bridge...
Do you have any news about the Rock Bridge? When I last visited it looked like it had crumbled some more.
We're not a government website. Tell someone who can actually do something instead of us.
This site needs to be cleaned up. The rocks are a mess and the sidewalk is horrible. Clean all up, we need to try and make under-the-hill a place to enjoy.
Nice find, Erica! IIRC that plaque was used by the Wrought Iron Bridge Co. of Canton.
Some info from the April 2009 Will County Historic Preservation Structural Survey...
Prior to the construction of the Joliet Arsenal in the early 1940s, this bridge apparently served as a road bridge for Blodget Road over the Grant Creek Cutoff. The road formerly followed a somewhat indirect path in this area, and the cutoff formed a north-south connection between the Des Plaines River in section 32 of Channahon Township and Kankakee River in section 5 of Wilmington Township. With the changes to the topography of this area as part of the development of the arsenal that impounded the Grant Creek Cutoff, the bridge was apparently relocated. It now has contemporary concrete abutments, and serves to carry an access road in the Des Plaines Conservation Area across the main channel of Grant Creek.
This bridge is no longer wooden. It was replaced with a concrete one about 20 years ago.
If anything, it's probably a bridge built by the BSA.
FWIW the address I found for the resort puts it on the opposite side of the reserve (9821 207th St W, Illinois City)
Do you think the bridge I see in the Boy Scout Camp is just a MOB bridge? There is a bridge of some sort there.
Nathan, the spot you have is the Boy Scout camp.
Visited here during the 2017 Pike County Color Drive. Good, solid bridge, recent deck as noted by deck securing clips & use of #6 Torx deck screws on runners. I wonder on the 1961 build date by style of bridge, although the concrete wingwalls are likely 1960's. Perhaps bridge was moved here or rebuilt. Plenty of photo ops at this location, was fortunate to be here for fall colors. My son, Ken Ballard, has posted a video @ YouTube of his walkover. Good gravel road, not too far off beaten path to check this bridge out.
More likely a Tee beam not stringer.
Visited here & photographed w/ my son Ken Ballard, Oct 22, 2017. Normally, I'm not too interested in this type of bridge, but the plaques really add a sense of history for the 'state of the art' early 1900's transportation infrastructure, bridges and routing of roads. The only thing missing here was an old style roadside park.
I also like to help do my part on filling in the blanks on this great website. I wasn't really expecting even one bridge, instead I find 3 + an old culvert.
These back roads are now bypassed but are still beautiful side trips, especially in the fall colors. Amazingly, this road is in very good condition.
George, I think I have the right location for your relocation via historicaerials. On the right track or??
There are actually four 1922 vintage concrete T Beams on this former US36 (original highway) just west of Detroit, IL. I took pics of the first three, from west to east. I blew past the fourth (no pics) as it was more of a pair of concrete guard rails on either side of the roadway atop a culvert than that of being a bridge. I will add pics and entries of each as I get a chance this week.
Visited here Sunday, Oct 22, 2017 during annual Pike County Color Drive. Bridge is in poor condition.
That really is a tragic story, after you went to such effort to save an extremely rare and important historic bridge! Did the collapse you describe happen recently? Also, I was trying to guess where the bridge and former campground was located, is this the area? https://goo.gl/maps/Apa53xQ1Cet 41.423267, -90.813707
We would be interested in any photos and videos of the bridge that you would be willing to share! We would be interested in photos of the bridge prior to the collapse, but I also would be curious to see what condition the bridge is in today.
The Watts Bridge is not lost at all!
With my family and a crew of a dozen curious helpers, I moved the bridge in one piece 30 miles from the site near
Keithsburg to my campground, THUNDERHEAD RESORT KAMP near Illinois City, Illinois in 1989. Unable to get proper clearance to travel on state highways, I had to take the bridge cross-country through Joy, Illinois to cross Route 17. It was pulled by a 2 cylinder John Deere tractor with a 3 axle trailer and the running gear of a wagon. I have a full video of the journey including the 3 blown tires from the heavy load. I installed it over a creek in our campground and over 7,000 guests rode over the bridge during September and October, 1995 on hayracks. Sadly, a fast, 6inch rain in a few hours floated a huge tree downstream and pushed the bridge off its foundation. I have not and may not try to recover it. I am 84 and we closed our campground in 1996. One of the bow trusses was destroyed in the flood and may not be repairable. gc
This is at least 3rd long-term closure for "repairs" in the last two years. Must have some sort of structural problems that are defying repairs. This is the most-operated lift bridge in Chicago area after all.
Bridge abandoned when CTM shut down for lack of traffic - bridge damaged by fire and inoperable
CN has embargoed this bridge. No longer considered usable.
Built for Metropolitan West Side Elevated, not CA&E, which came in on trackage rights after 1907. Abandoned and removed after Chicago transit Authority abandoned this portion of Elevated June 1958
Out of passenger service 1951, scrapped 1964. Bridge over CNW in background still there today, holding railroad signals.
Doubtful, seeing as the bridge this entry for is in the raised position with no tracks going to the bridge.
I've been here several times - trains use it daily.
This photo was taken on October 5, 2017 from the eastern side of the Kankakee Bridge. The power poles are made of concrete and look original. They are no longer used.
The bridge passed over the junction of the Chicago and Eastern Illinois Railroad (now Union Pacific) with the Peoria and Eastern (later Conrail, now removed) and the Illinois Terminal/Illinois Traction Interurban line (removed prior to 1975)
I was thrilled to be able to see this bridge in person today. Thanks again for your work.
Does anyone know how to contact (lisalu_2005 [at] yahoo [dot] com)? I am trying to get permission to use the photograph titled:
Illinois River Bridge at Florence Illinois on January 10th 2016 after a barge hit the bridge earlier that morning.
Any help would be appreciated.
Thank you in advance,
Closed for repairs until October 31, 2017. Traffic rerouted to 95th Street Bridge on a poorly-marked detour.
Yes, those are indeed fluted cruciform verts! Switzerland County, Indiana also had a CBW Bowstring pony about the same size with them. The verticals on the larger Mallaham Bridge in Putnam County, Ohio are beefier rolled ones.
Nice panoramic view.
In Julie's pics it looks like this has cruciform verticals.
It's nice to know this one is preserved.
Thanx Clark Vance for the info; I finally visited here, Aug 27, 2017 and noted the concrete wing walls had a date written in the concrete of 8-24-77. This area was originally the village of Siloam prior to 1940 with a max population of 75. There was a hotel, store, post office and a rather large spring fed swimming pool. "Illinois Stories" on local PBS station features this history as well.
Appears that this bridge has been replaced.
Looks to me this bridge has been replaced
Marine Engine 41, The Fred Busse, was moored in the slip on the North Side of the river, east of the bridge.
That's kind of what I thought too. The piers looked much older than the bridge.
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this bridge runs right through a offroad park i ride at. I can get a couple pics of it to put here but dont know how to go about doing that
This bridge no longer operates because I don't see any gates.
Stone piers look to be very old but well built, may have carried several structures at this site.
Talk about lucky timing. Sign at the beginning of road says "Road closed Sept 5th for bridge replacement"
MoDOT wants to replace this bridge.
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.