IDOT's apparent quest to destroy every truss bridge they own continues. http://www.newstrib.com/articles/news/local/default.asp?article=30525&aname=IDOT+to+replace+Illinois+River+bridge+at+Utica
I note that the NBI indicates there isn't even anything wrong with this bridge. What a waste.
Originally the old bridge did not have a span that opened for barge traffic. In 1906 a tornado destroyed a couple of spans and sometime after that the swing span was added. The old road and abutment on the south shore still exist and are part of Starved Rock State Park. Some of the original north abutment stones are still there, but scattered under the present bridege. All photos are by Art Kistler, IDOT employee.
I remember this bridge being built at the age of 8. I wold go with my grandfather to the Utica quarry on the south Utica side by the river and look up watching the construction workers. I also remember the swing bridge it replaced. I liked getting stuck in traffic having to wait for the barges to go by till the bridge swung back for traffic to proceed. I don't think my grandfather liked getting stuck though.
This bridge replaced a swing bridge that had been there since my Mother and Aunt were kids. I remember when this bridge was constructed. I was about 5 years old at the time. It was a site to see when we would drive over the old swing bridge seeing this high monster being constructed. After its completion you could look down on the north side and see what was left of the old road.