5 votes

Buzzi Unicem - LaSalle Rail Bridge


General View Of Main (River) Span, Built In 1932, Looking Southeast.

Photo taken by Historic American Engineering Record

View photos at Library of Congress

BH Photo #117931


Street View 


Through truss bridge over Illinois River/I&M Canal/Railroad (IAIS) on Buzzi Unicem's private rail line in La Salle
LaSalle, LaSalle County, Illinois
Built 1896, two deck truss spans removed and replaced with a Parker truss in 1932
- American Bridge Co. of New York (Girder Spans)
- Chicago Bridge & Iron Co. of Chicago, Illinois (Deck Trusses)
- McClintic-Marshall Co. of Chicago, Illinois & Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (Main Truss)
- Buzzi Unicem
- Illinois Central Railroad (IC; ICG (1972-1988))
Main span: Parker through truss
Length of largest span: 340.0 ft.
Total length: 2,850.0 ft. (0.5 mi.)
Also called
IC - LaSalle Rail Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+41.32235, -89.08304   (decimal degrees)
41°19'20" N, 89°04'59" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
16/325664/4576635 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
La Salle
Inventory number
BH 36832 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • August 26, 2021: Updated by John Marvig: added deck truss builder from 2009 comment, main truss builder from HAER
  • May 9, 2019: New photo from Geoff Hubbs
  • November 13, 2015: Updated by John Marvig: built 1896
  • July 14, 2015: New photos from John Marvig
  • June 30, 2015: Updated by John Marvig: Added information
  • August 17, 2014: New photos from Gene Smania
  • October 9, 2013: New Street View added by J.P.
  • August 24, 2013: Updated by Luke Harden: Corrected build date
  • October 21, 2012: Photo imported by Luke Harden
  • February 1, 2012: New photo from Gene Smania
  • December 13, 2011: New photos from Steve Conro
  • October 16, 2011: New photo from Steve Conro
  • September 15, 2011: New photo from Luke Harden
  • March 1, 2010: Updated by Robert Stephenson: Added GPS coordinates
  • March 29, 2009: Updated by Kim Harvey: added GPS coordinates from terraserver
  • July 23, 2008: New photos from Kim Harvey
  • July 8, 2008: Updated by Kim Harvey: added category
  • July 7, 2008: Added by Kim Harvey



La Salle Railroad Bridge
Posted August 24, 2013, by Rick P (silverfox13_21 [at] yahoo [dot] com)


great link of this bridge too and how they built and rebuilt it

La Salle Railroad Bridge
Posted March 27, 2012, by Gene Smania

Upstream profile, July 2009, shadow of I-39 Abe Lincoln Bridge tied arch span on the water

La Salle Railroad Bridge
Posted December 13, 2011, by Steve Conro (sconro [at] yahoo [dot] com)

There's a plaque on the northern most approach span from American Bridge Co 1920. possibly just for that one deck plate span over Rockwell Rd.

La Salle Railroad Bridge
Posted March 9, 2011, by Gene Smania

Photos taken March, 2004.

La Salle Railroad Bridge
Posted February 27, 2010, by Ron Johnson (mfpd24 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

This bridge hasn't been operated by the Illinois Central for many years. It was on the I.C.'s original charter line from Galena IL. to Cairo IL., nicknamed "Gruber line", that was abandoned from Freeport to Heyworth in 1986, the last I.C. train ran on this line on December 21 1985. The bridge, and a few miles of track south of the river are operated by Buzzi Unicem (formerly Lonestar Cement) and are the only section of the Gruber Line remaining. The north end terminates at the remains of I.C.'s LaSalle yard and connects with the CSX/Iowa Interstate (former Rock Island) tracks that pass underneath it. Quite a few lost and abandoned bridges can be found along the 100+ mile length of the line.

Here's a link with some pics of the bridge in the I.C. days: http://icrr.tripod.com/id3.html

La Salle Railroad Bridge
Posted March 12, 2009, by Jim Payne (james [dot] payne [at] buzziunicemusa [dot] com)

I need to double check dates. The drawings I have were done by Illinois Central RR. They could have been done after construction. I also have some of the orignal Chicago Bridge & Iron "Bills of Wrought Iron/Steel" for components of the 1896 deck trusses. The word iron is crossed-out and replaced by the handwritten word "steel". The dates in these Bills of Wrought Iron/Steel should give an indication of date of construction.

La Salle Railroad Bridge
Posted March 12, 2009, by Jim Payne (james [dot] payne [at] buzziunicemusa [dot] com)

I have the original drawings of this bridge (ink on linen). The deck truss section drawings are dated 1895 (built in 1896). The arch long span was built in 1932 to replace two 1896 sections, one of which was a draw or swing bridge. The piers were built in 1851 for a previous bridge and upgraded in 1896 and 1932.