Rating:
4 votes

Millbrook Bridge

Photos 

Photo taken by Steve Conro in October 2011

Enlarge

BH Photo #218279

Map 

Street View 

Video 

Millbrook Bridge - Dark Ambient Soundscape.

(Drone study of bridge. The drone is actually flown through the bridge, giving good closeup views.)

YouTube user Scarakus

Play video

Description 

Lost former Whitfield Road bridge, bypassed by modern bridge and road configuration. Demolished August 24-25, 2020 for $476,784.03.

Bridge was in a very scenic location in the Kendall County Shuh Shuh Gah Forest Preserve. It was popular for fishing and for wedding photography, until it was closed to pedestrians in 2015. Masonry west pier was crumbling.

West span was different design than center and east spans.

Facts 

Overview
Pratt through truss bridge over Fox River on former alignment of Whitfield Road
Location
Millbrook, Kendall County, Illinois
Status
Demolished on 24-25 August, 2020
Future prospects
Demolished on 24-25 August, 2020
History
Built 1897. Bypassed by a new bridge in 1984; closed to pedestrians 2015; demolished 2020
Design
Pratt through truss
Dimensions
Total length: 500.0 ft.
Recognition
Eligible for the National Register of Historic Places
Approximate latitude, longitude
+41.60674, -88.56190   (decimal degrees)
41°36'24" N, 88°33'43" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
16/369851/4607293 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Newark
Inventory numbers

BH 46860 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • August 26, 2020: Updated by Roger Deschner: Changed Description to past-tense, since bridge demolished.
  • August 26, 2020: Updated by Jason Smith: This bridge has been demolished
  • August 21, 2020: Updated by Nathan Holth: Updated demolition date to August 24!!!!
  • February 16, 2020: Updated by Roger Deschner: Added video, photos. Bridge now closed to pedestrians.
  • February 13, 2020: New photo from Art Suckewer
  • December 22, 2018: New photo from Steve Conro
  • February 20, 2018: New Street View added by Luke
  • June 24, 2017: New photos from Steve Conro
  • January 15, 2012: New photo from Steve Conro
  • November 9, 2010: Added by James Baughn

Related Bridges 

Sources 

Comments 

Millbrook Bridge
Posted August 26, 2020, by Roger Deschner (rogerdeschner [at] gmail [dot] com)

What a pity, and also a waste of taxpayer funds because preservation would have cost less than demolition. I'm glad I was able to visit it with my camera in February.

Pictures of the bridge have just disappeared from the Village of Millbrook's official website. It's like it was never there. There is no longer any reason to visit Millbrook.

One of the best documentation is the drone inspection on YouTube, posted above. The Bridgehunter Chronicles entry also contains a number of photos, including post-demolition.

Since the bridge structure and deck itself was in fairly good condition, it is a pity that relocation was not considered, as with the South Smith Road Bridge in Rock County, Wisconsin.

Millbrook Bridge
Posted August 26, 2020, by Jason Smith (flensburg [dot] bridgehunter [dot] av [at] googlemail [dot] com)
Millbrook Bridge
Posted August 21, 2020, by Nathan Holth (webmaster [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

What a senseless waste... a centerpiece attraction in a forest preserve and the ONLY TRUSS IN THE COUNTY. Welcome to TRUSSLESS status Kendall County... one less reason for people to visit your county.

http://www.wspynews.com/news/local/demolition-of-historic-mi...

Millbrook Bridge
Posted July 15, 2020, by Tyler

Someone should contact Kendall County and convince them to move the spans off to the side instead of scrapping them. The virus probably bought some time

Millbrook Bridge
Posted February 19, 2020, by Roger Deschner (rogerdeschner [at] gmail [dot] com)

Kendall County has approved the $476,784.03 contract to demolish this bridge. https://www.kendallcountynow.com/2020/02/18/kendall-county-f...

What a shame! Not to mention a waste of taxpayer money. That same money would have gone a very long way towards saving and rehabilitating this 123 year old bridge. A small fraction of that demolition cost would easily pay for stabilizing the crumbling west pier.

Time to really mobilize here. Visit this bridge while you can! Sign the petition: http://chng.it/vrTb7QHjDN

Millbrook Bridge
Posted February 17, 2020, by George A Oakley (Georgeoakley49 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

Excellent video.Showed damage to railings and also the middle pier.

Millbrook Bridge
Posted February 16, 2020, by Roger Deschner (rogerdeschner [at] gmail [dot] com)

Visited this great bridge. It's in a bucolic natural setting, part of a county forest preserve. Interesting that one of its three spans, on the west, is a completely different design. Really its only urgent structural problem is the crumbling limestone west pier, which sits in the middle of the water. The east pier is in somewhat better condition. The deck is in good condition.

The only public access to the bridge is at its west end, which is in a county park. The east end is private property. Somebody has been trimming back the vegetation on the path to the west end of the bridge, and there were lots of footprints in the snow. There were other people there the same time I was, admiring the bridge, since it has been in the news. I took a bunch of photos, but most of them are duplicates of Steve Conro's excellent work in December 2018, so I only posted three.

A plan might be:

1. Kendall County shores up the crumbling west pier. This will cost a lot less than demolition, and the full rehab doesn't have to happen right away. It buys time.

2. Then it might be safe to reopen it to pedestrians, fishermen, and wedding photographers.

3. Village of Millbrook (photo of bridge is on its homepage https://www.thevillageofmillbrook.com/) or some other area organization completes the paperwork to get it NRHP listed. This should make funding the rehab easier.

4. Village of Millbrook creates easements to route a trail across the bridge. This has already been proposed and discussed. This will also help attract rehab funding.

5. Develop federal, state, local, and private funding sources, to do the full rehabilitation it needs. At least if the crumbling pier is shored up, there will be time to really accomplish this.

There is a change.org petition to Kendall County to save the bridge: http://chng.it/vrTb7QHjDN

Millbrook Bridge
Posted February 14, 2020, by Roger Deschner (rogerdeschner [at] gmail [dot] com)

Time for a visit this weekend, with camera, before the clock runs out on this historic bridge.

Millbrook Bridge
Posted February 14, 2020, by Jason Smith (flensburg [dot] bridgehunter [dot] av [at] googlemail [dot] com)

I hope officials will Change their minds. Even if it means putting the trusses in storage until funding is found for restoring the Piers at least. My two Cents on this: https://bridgehunterschronicles.wordpress.com/2020/02/14/wha...

JS

Millbrook Bridge
Posted February 13, 2020, by Art S. (asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)

Calling Julie Bowers...

http://www.wcsjnews.com/news/wspynews/millbrook-bridge-demol...

The Kendall County Forest Preserve Commission will return to discussion of demolition of the historic Millbrook Bridge at a Committee of the Whole meeting on Tuesday at 4:30.

That meeting will be held on the second floor of the County Office Building at 111 W. Fox St. in Yorkville.

The historic bridge spans the Fox River at Millbrook.

At the Feb 4 meeting, Forest preserve commissioners pulled the $476,784 demolition contract with D Construction off the agenda.

Further study of the contract by the state's attorney's office was given as the reason for the bridge demolition contract being pulled.

Forest preserve Director David Guritz told the commissioners at the Feb. 4 meeting what would happen at this Tuesday's meeting.

Forest preserve commissioner Audra Hendrix asked Kendall Co. Forest Preserve President Judy Gilmour to update the commissioners on the history of trying to save the historic 1987 Millbrook Bridge.

Here's Gilmour:

That 2015 engineering study estimated the cost to completely save the bridge at over one million dollars. The cost to demolish the bridge was listed in 2015 at $200,000.

The Kendall County Forest Preserve Commission is still planning to vote on the demolition contract the the Feb. 18, 9:00 a.m. meeting.

Millbrook Bridge
Posted September 19, 2018, by Nathan Holth (webmaster [at] historicbridges [dot] org)
Millbrook Bridge
Posted February 20, 2018, by David S. (dscharen [at] hotmail [dot] com)

The old Millbrook Bridge may not be long for this world. By the end of February 2018, the Kendall County Board will have met to determine the fate of the bridge. It had been a favorite for fisherman and wedding photographers for many years, but it was deemed unsafe circa 2014 or 2015 and subsequently closed. Engineering studies published in early February concluded the cost to repair the bridge would be in excess of $1,000,000, while the cost to demolish it would be $250,000.

If someone started a GoFundMe for the bridge, and everyone just in Kendall County (to say nothing of surrounding communities in other counties) donated $5, this bridge could be repaired and preserved for perpetuity.

Millbrook Bridge
Posted March 24, 2016, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

This one Art...

Millbrook Bridge
Posted October 26, 2015, by ArtS (asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)

Looks like it will be preserved as part of a trail:

http://www.wspynews.com/news/local/agreement-may-be-near-on-...