Rating:
5 votes

Abandoned CNW - Fox River Bridge

Photos 

Oblique View.

Photo taken by ChicagoGeek, CC BY-ND 2.0

View this photo on Flickr

BH Photo #194215

Map 

Street View 

Facts 

Overview
Abandoned lattice through truss bridge over Fox River in Carpentersville on C&NW RR
Location
Carpentersville, Kane County, Illinois
Status
Abandoned
History
Built 1879
Builder
- Leighton Bridge & Iron Works of Rochester, New York
Railroad
- Chicago & North Western Railway (CNW)
Design
Lattice through truss. Curved steel stringer SW approach nearly 500' long
Dimensions
Length of largest span: 105.0 ft.
Total length: 615.0 ft.
Approximate latitude, longitude
+42.11049, -88.29058   (decimal degrees)
42°06'38" N, 88°17'26" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
16/393301/4662849 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Elgin
Inventory number
BH 48253 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • June 24, 2017: New photos from Steve Conro
  • August 21, 2015: New photos from John Marvig
  • March 29, 2015: Updated by John Marvig: Added build date from C&NW Annual Report
  • February 24, 2015: Photo imported by Alexander D. Mitchell IV
  • October 8, 2013: New Street View added by J.P.
  • October 18, 2012: Updated by Luke Harden: Addded categories
  • August 9, 2012: Updated by Daniel Hopkins: Added category "Railroad"
  • January 28, 2012: New photo from Steve Conro
  • February 25, 2011: Added by Nathan Holth

Sources 

Comments 

Abandoned CNW - Fox River Bridge
Posted June 27, 2017, by John Marvig

Ed,

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.

Abandoned CNW - Fox River Bridge
Posted June 27, 2017, by Ed Hollowell (erhollowell [at] aol [dot] com)

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.

Abandoned CNW - Fox River Bridge
Posted June 25, 2017, by John Marvig (marvigj27 [at] gmail [dot] com)

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.

Abandoned CNW - Fox River Bridge
Posted January 3, 2017, by John Marvig (marvigj27 [at] gmail [dot] com)

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

Abandoned CNW - Fox River Bridge
Posted January 2, 2017, by Nathan Holth (webmaster [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

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?

http://www.homesbyotto.com/carpentersville/

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.

Abandoned CNW - Fox River Bridge
Posted January 2, 2017, by Clark Vance (cvance [at] dogmail [dot] com)

I can't imagine these are the original supports. The picture of the bearing plate sitting atop wood seems wrong.

Abandoned CNW - Fox River Bridge
Posted January 2, 2017, by John Marvig (marvigj27 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Clark,

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.

Abandoned CNW - Fox River Bridge
Posted January 2, 2017, by Clark Vance (cvance [at] dogmail [dot] com)

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.

Abandoned CNW - Fox River Bridge
Posted January 2, 2017, by John Marvig (marvigj27 [at] gmail [dot] com)

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.

Abandoned CNW - Fox River Bridge
Posted January 2, 2017, by Nathan Holth (nathan [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

How did an engineering firm end up owning this bridge? And what is the current status of the bridge... are demolition plans being made at this time?

Abandoned CNW - Fox River Bridge
Posted January 2, 2017, by John Marvig (marvigj27 [at] gmail [dot] com)

A petition has been started to preserve this extremely historic bridge! Give it a read and a sign!

https://www.change.org/p/otto-engineering-inc-save-the-carpe...

Chicago North Western Fox River Bridge
Posted January 8, 2013, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

Approach spans for this bridge have collapsed: http://couriernews.suntimes.com/news/17366369-418/one-more-b...

Chicago North Western Fox River Bridge
Posted October 20, 2012, by Gary Sprandel (jaidite [at] aol [dot] com)

Further info on the AE&FRE...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aurora,_Elgin_and_Fox_River_Ele...

Carpentersville was the AE&FRE's northern terminal so it lends further credibility to the interchange theory.

Chicago North Western Fox River Bridge
Posted October 20, 2012, by Steve Conro (sconro [at] yahoo [dot] com)

A 1928 map shows this to be a spur crossing the Fox River and ending up north of the dam. Must been some business that needed rail on the west side of the river.

Chicago North Western Fox River Bridge
Posted October 19, 2012, by Gary Sprandel (jaidite [at] aol [dot] com)

Not sure if that was C&NW as the C&NW's Elgin to Lake Geneva line crosses the Fox a bit north of there in Algonquin.

I know the Fox Valley was spider webbed with interurban railroads through the mid 20th century and you can still make out bits of the right of way of the old Aurora,Elgin & Fox River Electric Railway on the west bank( you could still see the AE&FRE rails in the street at the intersection of Lincoln and Main until they redid the streets in the early 80's.

I'd always thought that bridge to be a freight interchange lead between the AE&FRE and the C&NW.