Recent Illinois Comments

Post a comment Contact webmaster

Posted January 23, 2019, by Melissa Brand-Welch (melissabrandwelch [at] msn [dot] com)

Mike Daffron described a bridge in Indiana as a soggy/spongy graham cracker...I love it

Posted January 23, 2019, by Mike Goff (michael [dot] goff [at] hotmail [dot] com)

"The deck resembles a stale dried out oatmeal cookie", I have to incorporate that into a bridge inspection report at some point. That is pure poetry!

Posted January 23, 2019, by Melissa Brand-Welch (melissabrandwelch [at] msn [dot] com)

Love the description of the deck

Posted January 21, 2019, by Helen Johnson (ronhelen25 [at] gmail [dot] com)

My great grandfather egnthuis aka Natsy, donated the land on snipe hollow Rd to make a short cut from Elizabeth Illinois to Scalesmound Illinois blacktop! The home that he built is located by a long driveway near the bridge! While he was building the home in 1921, he lived in the log house on the right opposite side of the bridge. All of Natsy and Mary Grubers grandchildren were born in the home nearest the Gruber bridge!! Their daughter Anne Gruber- Holland and Herman Hollands children were born in the home starting with Francis Aug 1922.

Posted January 21, 2019, by Helen Johnson (ronhelen25 [at] gmail [dot] com)

My great grandfather egnthuis aka Natsy, donated the land on snipe hollow Rd to make a short cut from Elizabeth Illinois to Scalesmound Illinois blacktop! The home that he built is located by a long driveway near the bridge! While he was building the home in 1921, he lived in the log house on the right opposite side of the bridge. All of Natsy and Mary Grubers grandchildren were born in the home nearest the Gruber bridge!! Their daughter Anne Gruber- Holland and Herman Hollands children were born in the home starting with Francis Aug 1922.

Posted January 20, 2019, by Melissa Brand-Welch (melissabrandwelch [at] msn [dot] com)

You're welcome Dave !

Posted January 20, 2019, by Dave Huffman (dwh1970 [at] charter [dot] net)

Thanks for the info. My family moved to Charleston in 1979 and I remember crossing the bridge before it was replaced.

Posted January 19, 2019, by Melissa Brand-Welch (melissabrandwelch [at] msn [dot] com)

New bridge was in place by 1981 other than that I don't have an exact date.

Posted January 19, 2019, by Dave Huffman (dwh1970 [at] charter [dot] net)

Is the demolition date known for this bridge?

Posted January 18, 2019, by Daniel

Would the brick ever have been visible? The report Don posted says they were plastered with cement mortar. That's from 1936.

I wonder why the bridge cost 5 times what it was supposed to.

Posted January 18, 2019, by Don Morrison

HABS has info on construction materials and says 45,000 dollars was the price.

http://cdn.loc.gov/master/pnp/habshaer/il/il0100/il0143/data...

Posted January 17, 2019, by Nathan Holth (webmaster [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

It looks like quite a bit of this bridge is not original. I wonder if the original brick remains behind the concrete? The original ornamentation shown at the top of the towers in 1936 photos is missing in the 1971 photos, yet magically reappears in present day photos. Anchorages appear all-new. Cable saddles are modern.

Posted January 17, 2019, by Clark Vance (cvance [at] dogmail [dot] com)

It looks like the original estimate was around $9,000 and there were some shenanigans that led to the actual cost being estimated as five times the original estimate. The 1881 book describes this on page 85.

Posted January 17, 2019, by Daniel

$40,000 in 1859 doesn't sound right. Maybe that's inflation adjusted to when the sign went up in 1976?

Posted January 16, 2019, by Melissa Brand-Welch (melissabrandwelch [at] msn [dot] com)

Thank you to James and Don. I appreciate your help!

Posted January 16, 2019, by Don Morrison

That would be great. Long Dick Creek, which rises up in Hamilton County northeast of Ellsworth and enters the South Skunk River south of Story City already has, like a pony or two.

8^D

Posted January 16, 2019, by Don Morrison

Also March 27, 1979 was a Tuesday as stated in the photo caption. 8^)

Posted January 16, 2019, by Don Morrison

Agree with James - it is probably this bridge in the picture.

from

http://stationcarbondale.org/history/

"The old Grand Tower & Carbondale was the next to go. Tracks to Grand Tower had been retained to haul coal to the Central Illinois Public Service electric plant near Devil’s Backbone, but a derailment on March 27, 1979, destroyed the bridge over the Big Muddy River near Sand Ridge and the line was abandoned as a result."

Posted January 15, 2019, by Luke

We should relocate the Boner Bridge to cross Long Dick Creek in Story County, Iowa :')

Posted January 15, 2019, by Nathan Holth (webmaster [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

On a side note, the recent photos of this bridge posted were very useful to me and did bring to my attention the fact that this is an altered bridge. The floorbeams are not original and the vertical member connections to the floorbeams are reconfigured, with all cast iron connection assemblies having been replaced. Also, extremely heavy pack rust on the upper chord plate.

Posted January 15, 2019, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

...And yes Nick, that Rainbow Bridge does need to be rescued before Mother Nature finishes her reclamation of it! There has been talk for a long time about it... But NO action!

Posted January 15, 2019, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

It could be, but hard to be for certain.

Some information I have seen has the Boner (Sorry, but I always snicker when I type this one!) Bridge being started as early as 1866.

Posted January 15, 2019, by Melissa Brand-Welch (melissabrandwelch [at] msn [dot] com)

Letter to the editor from 1982 ! I haven't found anything else...

Posted January 15, 2019, by Nick Schmiedeler (nick [at] nickschmiedeler [dot] com)

Someone correct me if I'm wrong but according to the advanced searches on this website, this is the oldest existing bowstring in it's original spot in the country. The open triple-bowstring in Indiana is one year younger. Are there any efforts in place that anyone knows of to give this old thing more recognition, or any known pushes for preservation? DANG 151 YEARS OLD

Posted January 15, 2019, by Ed Hollowell (erhollowell [at] aol [dot] com)

I have an article about this bridge from the July 1952 "Railroad" magazine. It says construction started in 1887, total length was 10,560 feet and the nine overhead trusses were replaced with six new trusses. Also three new piers were built on the Kentucky side of the bridge. The new spans were added in one day each so the bridge could be closed as little as possible. As the new trusses were finished they were raised to the pier height and the old truss was slid off while the new truss was moved into place.

The 1952 story has the bridge at 10,560 feet. I added up the trusses and came up with 10,496 feet. The Railroad story states that approaches were converted to embankments during the life of the first bridge and total length was reduced to 7865 feet. I am wondering where the entry distance of 20,461 feet came from as I suspect it is an error.

Posted January 14, 2019, by Nick Schmiedeler (nick [at] nickschmiedeler [dot] com)

Thanks, Melissa. Several hundred abandoned bridges into hunting hobby, this is the oldest one I've visited still in it's original spot....excited, 151 years old, yow!!

Posted January 14, 2019, by Nick Schmiedeler (nick [at] nickschmiedeler [dot] com)

Very pretty spot, Melissa!!

Posted January 14, 2019, by Melissa Brand-Welch (melissabrandwelch [at] msn [dot] com)

Beautiful photos!

Posted January 14, 2019, by Melissa Brand-Welch (melissabrandwelch [at] msn [dot] com)

Amazing photos in the snow !

Posted January 13, 2019, by John Marvig (marvigj27 [at] gmail [dot] com)

I actually was in contact with someone who has the blueprints for this bridge. As reported to me, the superstructure of the bridge was built in 1920 by Wisconsin Bridge & Iron works, and the substructure built by Widell Company. Eager for pictures!

Posted January 13, 2019, by Nick Schmiedeler (nick [at] nickschmiedeler [dot] com)

This thing is a beast. 2nd line removed or never placed....looooong walk down recently-opened stretch of rail-to-trail to this one, at least one plaque removed but sounds like research has it at 1913 or so. Just a monster, and a beautiful spot. Fun visit.

Posted January 13, 2019, by Nick Schmiedeler (nick [at] nickschmiedeler [dot] com)

Talked to locals to get access to this one - on private property. Tough getting clear pic through thick snow-covered brush, can't imagine in Spring and Summer, this thing must disappear completely in foliage

Posted January 13, 2019, by Melissa Brand-Welch (melissabrandwelch [at] msn [dot] com)

Thanks Art !

Posted January 13, 2019, by Melissa Brand-Welch (melissabrandwelch [at] msn [dot] com)

Art, thanks. I definitely need a Bridge Hunting 101 course.

Posted January 13, 2019, by Art S. (asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)

Melissa,

If you stay with it, and you get a sense for how the various designs work, you'll start seeing how each maker solved the design issues and details before standardization. It's almost like an artist's signature style.

Here is a bridge with similar characteristics: http://bridgehunter.com/oh/putnam/6931928/

In my opinion, CBW made particularly elegant and usually ethereal bridges. A particularly nice example is Peevy Road Bridge: http://bridgehunter.com/pa/montgomery/467046040002310/

Gallman is pretty as well: http://bridgehunter.com/oh/licking/gallman-road/

This little bowstring is the only CBW built bridge still existing in IL that is listed on Bridgehunter: http://bridgehunter.com/il/adams/bh53514/

Regards,

Art S.

Posted January 13, 2019, by Melissa Brand-Welch (melissabrandwelch [at] msn [dot] com)

Thanks Mike. It would be nice to find photos of intact bridges but apparently that was not newsworthy.

Posted January 13, 2019, by Mike Daffron (daffmikron [at] gmail [dot] com)

Well, Melissa, your recent newspaper pix have shown me one thing: Idiot drivers have been screwing up good bridges for a long time and not only in Indiana! Keep up the good digging!

Posted January 13, 2019, by Melissa Brand-Welch (melissabrandwelch [at] msn [dot] com)

From the Decatur Herald dated May 7 1964...

Posted January 13, 2019, by Melissa Brand-Welch (melissabrandwelch [at] msn [dot] com)

Art, it amazes me you can tell that from this photo. I'll read the article Nathan wrote too.

Posted January 12, 2019, by Art S. (asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)

Melissa,

I am not certain it is. However, there are clues in the design, The vertical elements are single, rolled, beams while other elements indicate an early pin connected truss. David Morrison (the company's founder) was quite creative and innovative. He used these rolled beams instead of built up beams decades before others did. The designs tend to be simple slender and elegant.

Nathan has a nice write-up about the company on his site. I blame him for getting me hooked on them :^)

Regards,

Art S.

Posted January 12, 2019, by Melissa Brand-Welch (melissabrandwelch [at] msn [dot] com)

Thanks Luke!

Posted January 12, 2019, by Melissa Brand-Welch (melissabrandwelch [at] msn [dot] com)

Thanks to whomever mapped this

Posted January 12, 2019, by Melissa Brand-Welch (melissabrandwelch [at] msn [dot] com)

How do you know it's CBW ?

Posted January 12, 2019, by Melissa Brand-Welch (melissabrandwelch [at] msn [dot] com)

Thanks Luke ! I love my Newspapers plus account.

Posted January 12, 2019, by Luke

Good find on the additional pictures, Melissa.

Posted January 12, 2019, by Art S. (asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)

Ooooh! CBW? (Columbia Bridge Works?)

Nice find!

Posted January 12, 2019, by Melissa Brand-Welch (melissabrandwelch [at] msn [dot] com)

I could not find a West Fayette road so I left the location open.

Posted January 11, 2019, by Melissa Brand-Welch (melissabrandwelch [at] msn [dot] com)

Daniel, thanks again for your help.

Posted January 9, 2019, by Melissa Brand-Welch (melissabrandwelch [at] msn [dot] com)

Thanks Luke!

Posted January 8, 2019, by Daniel

That's a really strange looking truss. I see more tension members being used as braces above the crossmembers that're a little under halfway up, are those lateral or longitudinal?

Posted January 6, 2019, by John Marvig (marvigj27 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Not hard to see why these five bridges (Clark, Dearborn, State, Wabash, Michigan) will be replaced this year. The State Street bridge is probably in the worst immediately visible condition, with a massive sag in the west abutment. To counter this, temporary timber cribbing has been added under the girders, but is beginning to fail. All five bridges have advanced pier and deck deterioration, and most have had additional cribbing and bracing added.

Posted January 5, 2019, by Melissa Brand-Welch (melissabrandwelch [at] msn [dot] com)

Art, I read the other two spans were stored after the move but I have no information on their current location or existence.

Posted January 5, 2019, by Art S. (asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)

Interesting design, hope the other two spans still exist. Looks just like a mid 1880s King to me.

Posted January 4, 2019, by Melissa Brand-Welch (melissabrandwelch [at] msn [dot] com)

The caption on the photo cracks me up

Hopps Bridge (Illinois)
Posted January 4, 2019, by Melissa Brand-Welch (melissabrandwelch [at] msn [dot] com)

Thanks Luke!

Henry Bridge (Illinois)
Posted January 4, 2019, by Melissa Brand-Welch (melissabrandwelch [at] msn [dot] com)

Thanks Luke!

Posted January 3, 2019, by Melissa Brand-Welch (melissabrandwelch [at] msn [dot] com)

Thanks Luke !

Posted January 3, 2019, by Clark Vance (cvance [at] dogmail [dot] com)

The 1900 map shows one N/S bridge on what is now US 45. By 1928 there was a second bridge to the east.

Posted January 3, 2019, by Melissa Brand-Welch (melissabrandwelch [at] msn [dot] com)

Thanks Tony !

Posted January 2, 2019, by John Marvig (marvigj27 [at] gmail [dot] com)

I'm not sure where the after 1942 date comes from, but it appears that this bridge was built between 1900 and 1910. It follows a standardized design of the Milwaukee Road.

Posted January 1, 2019, by Melissa Brand-Welch (melissabrandwelch [at] msn [dot] com)

Thank you Clark !

Posted December 31, 2018, by John Marvig (marvigj27 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Not sure if this was ever Illinois Central. It appears it was originally Chicago Junction, and later New York Central, then Conrail.

Posted December 31, 2018, by Melissa Brand-Welch (melissabrandwelch [at] msn [dot] com)

Thanks Luke. I was hoping there was enough description for someone to map it.

Posted December 31, 2018, by Melissa Brand-Welch (melissabrandwelch [at] msn [dot] com)

Thanks Tony !

Posted December 30, 2018, by Melissa Brand-Welch (melissabrandwelch [at] msn [dot] com)

According to the Mt. Carmel Daily Republican-Register the bridge was purchased by the Stangle family in 1968. Work on the bridge was from May to September 1968.

Posted December 30, 2018, by Melissa Brand-Welch (melissabrandwelch [at] msn [dot] com)

Clark, thank you very much. I appreciate your help.

Posted December 30, 2018, by Clark Vance (cvance [at] dogmail [dot] com)

The 1961 Harrisburg and Carrier Mills quads show the NYC with a bridge at this location and one further east about a mile from the west side of town. The 1990 quad notes the rail as dismantled. It looks like a new alignment of Highway 13 closely follows this former rail line.

Posted December 29, 2018, by Melissa Brand-Welch (melissabrandwelch [at] msn [dot] com)

Thanks Tony!

Posted December 29, 2018, by Melissa Brand-Welch (melissabrandwelch [at] msn [dot] com)

Thanks Tony!

Posted December 29, 2018, by Douglas Butler

Melissa,

That's a perfect picture I like it myself especially I've my tech sketch with it

Posted December 29, 2018, by Melissa Brand-Welch (melissabrandwelch [at] msn [dot] com)

Doug, I love this photo. Thank you for adding it.

Posted December 27, 2018, by Art S. (asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)

That'll teach me to post from an Ipad…

Half Hip Pratt Pony Truss :^)

Regards,

Art S.

Posted December 27, 2018, by Melissa Brand-Welch (melissabrandwelch [at] msn [dot] com)

Thanks Luke !

Posted December 26, 2018, by Dana and Kay Klein

Ill bite Art, nhlarlfj ?

Posted December 26, 2018, by Art S. (asuckewer [at] knte [dot] com)

It's a nhlarlfj hip prattt pont.

Posted December 24, 2018, by Melissa Brand-Welch (melissabrandwelch [at] msn [dot] com)

Thanks Clark !

Posted December 24, 2018, by Clark Vance (cvance [at] dogmail [dot] com)

1992 NBI shows a 1927 T-Beam, so this one has probably been gone 90+ years.

Posted December 24, 2018, by Melissa Brand-Welch (melissabrandwelch [at] msn [dot] com)

Good eye on the Unicorn lol 🦄

Posted December 24, 2018, by Art S. (asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)

Tony,

I've seen four panel through trusses as well but I'd expect them in railroad use not for wagons. The other known Keystone Column short span bridges are both ponys.

I'll throw one more thing at you. The ends of the bridge definitely look like Keystone. But, to me, the upper chord joint at the midpoint seems non-standard for a Keystone product. Usually the upper chord is not a Keystone Column and the joint blocks are more subtle. In this case, joint block is bulky and extends beyond the upper plane of the top chord. I've seen this with Phoenix Columns and cast iron top chords. Could the top chord consist of Keystone Columns or be cast iron?

Regards,

Art S.

PS. When you maximized the image in the link, did you notice the guy riding the unicorn on the bridge :^)

Posted December 24, 2018, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Doubt it's recycled considering the cut stone substructure it sits upon. 4-panel through's were pretty uncommon but I've seen a handful. Likely wrought iron with cast fittings.

Posted December 24, 2018, by Art S. (asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)

Zooming in on the picture in the link - almost certainly looks like a Keystone product but still is very short and stout for such a short road span. Its also quite late for Keystone Columns (or cast iron). Very cool bridge, would love to learn the backstory.

Regards,

Art S.

Posted December 24, 2018, by Art S. (asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)

Thanks to both on the photos. I was wondering if it was cast iron, Keystone or Phoenix Columns. The magnified image does have me leaning toward Keystone as well but does anyone have confirmation.

Very short bridge for a through truss. Maybe recycled?

Regards,

Art S.

PS. Its a Pratt Through truss.

Posted December 24, 2018, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

And thank you for adding these old beauties Melissa!

Posted December 23, 2018, by Melissa Brand-Welch (melissabrandwelch [at] msn [dot] com)

Thanks Tony !

Posted December 23, 2018, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Neat little 4-panel Keystone column Pratt through truss!

Posted December 21, 2018, by Vincent Johnson (vincent [at] lostamericana [dot] com)

I did a photo documentary on the bridge back around 1995-1996 and you can see some of the photos under the "That Bridge" category on my photo blog. http://visualpreservationist.com/category/that-bridge/

Posted December 21, 2018, by Melissa Brand-Welch (melissabrandwelch [at] msn [dot] com)

Tony, I would love to find more information about this bridge. It is Beautiful.

Posted December 21, 2018, by Melissa Brand-Welch (melissabrandwelch [at] msn [dot] com)

Art, thank you. I am surprised you were able to tell anything about this bridge. I'm still looking for another photo !

Posted December 21, 2018, by Art S. (asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)

Its a late 1870s or early 1880s Whipple, based on the appearance and lightness of structure.

I wish there was more detail so that the builder could be identified. I'd love to find another Columbia Bridge Works product. We've got two identified in IL (one still in existence). I'd love to find more.

I'm still hoping to determine that they built bridges in NJ.

Regards,

Art S.

Posted December 20, 2018, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

I don't believe the 1919 date... I think it's about 30 years older than that. The finials are quite odd and I wonder if something is missing from them. Not sure of a possible builder.

Posted December 20, 2018, by Melissa Brand-Welch (melissabrandwelch [at] msn [dot] com)

Thanks John !

Posted December 20, 2018, by John Marvig

The bridge was replaced by a deck girder. I have a picture of the replacement, and I will post when I get home.

Posted December 20, 2018, by Melissa Brand-Welch (melissabrandwelch [at] msn [dot] com)

Hunter, I do not know. Hopefully one of the railroad fans know.

Posted December 20, 2018, by Hunter Deal (hdeal2000 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

I just love this bridge for some reason! I didn't realize it was anything more than a wooden trestle until I saw a picture of it in the 1970 "History of Stephenson County." Any idea what replaced it?

Posted December 19, 2018, by Melissa Brand-Welch (melissabrandwelch [at] msn [dot] com)

Art, I agree. Quite Ornate.

Posted December 19, 2018, by Art S. (asickewer [at] knite [dot] com)

Love the style and decorative design of this one!

Posted December 19, 2018, by Luke

That's because it seems that they replaced it in 86 and kept using some of that bridge's NBI data.

Posted December 18, 2018, by Luke

Nbi data for the current bridge seems to spoof the truss, as it says "Rehab 1986." A year after the picture GS posted were taken.

Posted December 18, 2018, by Melissa Brand-Welch (melissabrandwelch [at] msn [dot] com)

Thanks Luke ! I emailed John about this.

Posted December 17, 2018, by Julie Bowers (jbowerz1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Looks like an earlier 1870s King to me. No lacing in the outriggers. COOL