2 votes

Long Grove Covered Bridge


Photo taken by Steve Conro in February 2012


BH Photo #224453


Street Views 


Faux wood covering over old truss bridge


Truss bridge over Buffalo Creek on Robert Parker Coffin Road in Long Grove
Long Grove, Lake County, Illinois
Open to traffic
Future prospects
Nominated by county for National Register, with claim pony span was built 1906 by Joliet Bridge & Iron Co.; NBI states 1925, however
Built 1925; rehabilitated 1981
- Joliet Bridge & Iron Co. of Joliet, Illinois (National Register nomination alleges Joliet Bridge & Iron Co. built bridge in 1906; this conflicts with National Bridge Inventory data)
Metal half-hip pin-connected Pratt pony truss. Fake wooden covering added.
Length of largest span: 40.0 ft.
Total length: 41.0 ft.
Deck width: 17.3 ft.
Vertical clearance above deck: 9.7 ft.
Eligible for the National Register of Historic Places
Also called
Robert Parker Coffin Road Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+42.17749, -87.99968   (decimal degrees)
42°10'39" N, 87°59'59" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
16/417438/4669966 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Average daily traffic (as of 2015)
Inventory numbers
IL 049-7150 (Illinois bridge number)
BH 15425 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection report (as of July 2016)
Overall condition: Poor
Superstructure condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Poor (4 out of 9)
Deck condition rating: Satisfactory (6 out of 9)
Sufficiency rating: 27.1 (out of 100)
View more at BridgeReports.com

Update Log 

  • July 4, 2017: Updated by Alexander D. Mitchell IV: Nominated for National Register but with date of construuction differing from NBI data
  • April 3, 2017: Updated by Luke: Added category "Faux Covered Bridge"
  • February 3, 2012: New photos from Steve Conro
  • January 17, 2012: Updated by Steve Conro: Changed name to what locals call it and corrected road name
  • May 17, 2010: Updated by Nathan Holth: Updated GPS and info.



Long Grove Covered Bridge
Posted July 4, 2017, by Alexander D. Mitchell IV (lner4472 [at] verizon [dot] net)
Long Grove Covered Bridge
Posted April 3, 2017, by Aaron Underwood (aaron [at] longGroveHistory [dot] org)

The original plan in 1972 was to replace it with a culvert. While the covering might not be ideal as far as historic appreciation goes, the bridge wouldn't be here today had it not been covered as part of that alternative plan.

Also, a big part of the reason for the low covering was to limit truck traffic and weight on the bridge. The road the bridge is on is a cut through between major state highways. So it wasn't just for show.

Long Grove Covered Bridge
Posted January 12, 2017, by Roger Deschner (rogerdeschner [at] gmail [dot] com)

Bridge is now threatened, and a group is organizing in Long Grove to save it. Newspaper article: http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20170111/news/170119721/

It's a kind of a crazy bridge - a 1906 metal pony truss that gained a covering in 1972.

Long Grove Covered Bridge
Posted May 9, 2015, by ArtS (asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)

Here is a blog with pictures:


Note the bolts that have replaced the rivets.

Long Grove Covered Bridge
Posted February 3, 2012, by Steve Conro (sconro [at] yahoo [dot] com)

Up close I must say they did a nice job of making it look nice. You can easily the truss portion and its been nicely painted. So I guess the happy ending is its still here.

Long Grove Covered Bridge
Posted January 17, 2012, by Gary Sprandel (jaidite [at] aol [dot] com)

Years ago there was another truss bridge just north of town on Cuba Road (follow the creek on sat view)so while I might not be thrilled with the cheesy fake covered bridge wrapping it did save the original bridge.

Long Grove Covered Bridge
Posted January 17, 2012, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Sounds like the Amnicon Falls Bridge in Douglas County, Wisconsin... A rare Horton Bowstring that has been enclosed in a fake wrapper for more than 70 years. Unfortunately, it has been covered for so long I doubt that anyone living has seen it in it's natural state.

Long Grove Covered Bridge
Posted January 17, 2012, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)


I don't doubt that some of the wealthy folks who live there think that a covered bridge is a symbol of prestige and a metal truss bridge is a symbol of something rustic. But I find that amusing at the same time because history tells us the reality is actually the opposite. Covered bridges are actually the result of a nation lacking in industry, but with an abundance of trees and so-called "unskilled" labor that could turn those trees into bridges. The metal truss bridge actually symbolizes the advancement of industry and well-being in the United States. We moved from covered bridge, which by their nature are not built to last (nearly all covered bridges existing today lack significant original materials) to metal truss bridges, a durable type of bridge designed to last well over 100 years.

Coffin Road Bridge
Posted January 17, 2012, by Steve Conro (sconro [at] yahoo [dot] com)

I love your comments but if you've ever been to Long Grove ($$$)you'd understand why they covered it. Nothing rustic in that neighborhood. You'd be out of place there if you weren't in your BMW/Porsche/MB SUV. I could only imagine the affluent folks there thinking a beautiful old truss bridge as being unsightly.

Coffin Road Bridge
Posted May 19, 2010, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Thank you Nathan! Not that I have anything against covered bridges, but I fail to see the logic in preserving a wooden truss, but not a wrought iron one.

When I lived in Decorah, Iowa briefly, I had the opportunity to photograph the many truss bridges in the area, yet when I tell people that I lived in Iowa, they ask me if I visited the "Bridges of Madison County".

Coffin Road Bridge
Posted May 18, 2010, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

Robert, your comment is now my new favorite BridgeHunter quote!:

"I think that tonight I will move my toolshed over my creek and see if I can't get some federal funding."

Coffin Road Bridge
Posted May 18, 2010, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Reply to Nathan:

I have lost count of the number of times I have picked up a newspaper and read of a truss bridge, usually scheduled for replacement, being referred to as an eysore. Interesting how nobody ever refers to a covered bridge by using the same perjoratives.

I think that tonight I will move my toolshed over my creek and see if I can't get some federal funding.

Coffin Road Bridge
Posted May 17, 2010, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

Well, this is among the dumber things I have ever seen. Take a genuine historic Pratt pony truss with handsome ornate railing and put fake wooden covering on it to make it look like a covered bridge. This just shows how warped the general public's view of historic bridges is. A bridge does not have to be a wooden covered bridge to be historic. This bridge is historic on its own. The only positive reason I can think of to do this would be to trick PennDOT into thinking this was a covered bridge so that they would preserve it instead of demolishing it. But this bridge is in Illinois not Pennsylvania.