Rating:
3 votes

Long Grove “Covered” Bridge

Photos 

Photo taken by Steve Conro in February 2012

Enlarge

BH Photo #224453

Map 

Street Views 

Description 

Faux wood covering original pony truss bridge

Facts 

Overview
1906 pony truss bridge with modern wooden superstructure over Buffalo Creek on Robert Parker Coffin Road in Long Grove
Location
Long Grove, Lake County, Illinois
Status
Original pony truss reopened
History
Built 1906; wooden roof and substructure added 1972 to make it a "covered bridge," rehabilitated 1981 and 2020
Builder
- Joliet Bridge & Iron Co. of Joliet, Illinois
Design
Metal half-hip pin-connected Pratt pony truss with side walkway. Fake wooden roof covering added.
Dimensions
Length of largest span: 40.0 ft.
Total length: 41.0 ft.
Deck width: 17.3 ft.
Vertical clearance above deck: 9.7 ft.
Recognition
Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on June 11, 2018
Also called
Robert Parker Coffin Road Bridge
Buffalo Creek 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:
Wheeling
Land survey
T. 43 N., R. 11 E., Sec. 30
Average daily traffic (as of 2015)
2,900
Inventory numbers
IL 049-7150 (Illinois bridge number)
BH 15425 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection report (as of November 2018)
Overall condition: Poor
Superstructure condition rating: Poor (4 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Poor (4 out of 9)
Deck condition rating: Good (7 out of 9)
Sufficiency rating: 27.1 (out of 100)
View more at BridgeReports.com

Update Log 

  • August 15, 2020: New photos from Tyler
  • August 15, 2020: Updated by Roger Deschner: Added categories ""Truck Eating"", "Haunted"
  • June 10, 2020: Updated by Tyler: Added new rehabilitation date
  • December 9, 2018: New photo from Melissa Brand-Welch
  • July 8, 2018: Updated by Art Suckewer: updated status
  • June 28, 2018: Updated by Alexander D. Mitchell IV: Correctiojns to record based on newspaper articles
  • 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.

Sources 

  • Nathan Holth
  • Steve Conro - sconro [at] yahoo [dot] com
  • Alexander D. Mitchell IV
  • Long Grove's covered bridge added to National Register of Historic Places - Although landing on the National Register of Historic Places won't protect Long Grove's iconic covered bridge from ever being demolished, its supporters say the designation by a federal agency affirms their preservation efforts and will provide some
  • Art Suckewer - Asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com
  • Melissa Brand-Welch - melissabrandwelch [at] msn [dot] com
  • Tyler

Comments 

Long Grove “Covered” Bridge
Posted February 19, 2021, by Roger Deschner (rogerdeschner [at] gmail [dot] com)

What I want to see in Long Grove, is somebody with a webcam aimed at the bridge, so they can record all the crashes, and post them on YouTube. Not only could they turn the miscreants in to the authorities, but it could also be very entertaining. Just like all those hilarious videos from that 11'8" RR underpass in Durham NC.

Long Grove “Covered” Bridge
Posted February 12, 2021, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

I would love to see the fake covering, along with all of it's artificial romanticism, go by the wayside. That being said, I don't see these people giving in and suspect they will continue to deal with the impact (yes, pun) of their decision.

My bigger fear would be them scrapping the pony truss and ordering one of those fake gingerbread house looking gigs from Ohio.

Long Grove “Covered” Bridge
Posted February 12, 2021, by Art S. (Asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)

Nathan,

I didn't realize you were a ghost writer for the Tribune!

I'm actually in favor of the covering. I consider it an umbrella on top of the pony. Besides, each moron that hits this 'umbrella' may learn a lesson and not repeat the mistake on a real historic structure.

Besides, it is really fun envisioning your irritation of a fake covering on a genuine bridge and you getting worked up each time it gets hit. I picture you yelling at the computer screen first at the trucker then at those responsible each time it gets hit :^)

Warm Regards,

Art S.

Long Grove “Covered” Bridge
Posted February 12, 2021, by Nathan Holth (webmaster [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

A really outstanding editorial on the bridge's current state.

https://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/lake-county-news-sun/...

Long Grove “Covered” Bridge
Posted February 2, 2021, by Nathan Holth (webmaster [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

Still standing... not for lack of trying on the part of trucks.

https://wgntv.com/news/truck-hits-long-grove-bridge-again/

Long Grove “Covered” Bridge
Posted August 21, 2020, by Anonymous

Plot Twist Part 2:Nathan chartered the bus

Long Grove “Covered” Bridge
Posted August 21, 2020, by Tyler

Plot twist: Nathan was on the bus and told the driver to cross it

Long Grove “Covered” Bridge
Posted August 21, 2020, by Anonymous

Interesting that usually historic bridges are destroyed by truckers following their GPS too closely and ignoring signs.. now we have an historic bridge destroyed by a driver ignoring their GPS. Go figure.

Long Grove “Covered” Bridge
Posted August 21, 2020, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

It's a shame the bus didn't just "collect" the stupid lid and drive off with it!

Long Grove “Covered” Bridge
Posted August 21, 2020, by Matt Lohry

The bus was rented, and the driver listened to the obviously brainless (and maybe drunk) occupants rather than her GPS, which was STRONGLY telling her not to cross with that vehicle...glad I’m not the one who has to explain this to the owning rental company when it’s time to turn it back in!!

Long Grove “Covered” Bridge
Posted August 20, 2020, by Matt Lohry

The bus was rented, and the driver listened to the obviously brainless (and maybe drunk) occupants rather than her GPS, which was STRONGLY telling her not to cross with that vehicle...glad I’m not the one who has to explain this to the owning rental company when it’s time to turn it back in!!

Long Grove “Covered” Bridge
Posted August 20, 2020, by Roger Deschner (rogerdeschner [at] gmail [dot] com)

What's hilarious about this second stupid driver trick, is that the ABC7 reporter was interviewing a local shopkeeper about the bridge, when it was struck for the second time. You can actually hear it being hit on the video!

I predict it will soon become restricted to pedestrians and bicycles. Or just outfit it with garish signals and flashing lights, like the infamous "NS - Gregson Street Guillotine" in Durham NC. Maybe even a siren, so the locals can come out from their candle and ice cream shoppes and watch the carnage. Put a webcam overlooking it.

Long Grove “Covered” Bridge
Posted August 20, 2020, by Tyler

Eventually he’ll get a crane and demolish the cover himself

Long Grove “Covered” Bridge
Posted August 19, 2020, by Art S. (Asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)

Nathan's persistent and stubborn campaign to free the little pony truss continues! Round two for this week. Listen to the video! Keep it up Nathan! You are wearing them down!

https://abc7chicago.com/long-grove-bridge-accident-crash-hit...

Regards,

Art S.

:^)

Long Grove “Covered” Bridge
Posted August 17, 2020, by Nathan Holth (webmaster [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

That is absolutely outstanding. If only they would have just appreciated the beautiful historic metal truss bridge they have... all this unpleasantness could be avoided!

Long Grove “Covered” Bridge
Posted August 15, 2020, by Roger Deschner (rogerdeschner [at] gmail [dot] com)

Is there a bridge category for "Hilarious"? I mean, when I saw the newspaper picture of the school bus stuck in it, I broke down laughing. Our local media has covered it (pun intended), including its misadventures over the years, with a straight face. But this is truly karma striking it, disguised as a bus. This is easily the funniest bridge on this site. What that poor 1906 pony truss has endured. Perhaps the "Haunted" category would be better.

The current google street view shows the bridge naked, protected by big yellow headache bars. Put those big steel headache bars back up on the outside of the faux wood covering. Then add flashing lights, like on the truck-eating bridge in Durham NC. The bridge is already silly; why not?

Long Grove “Covered” Bridge
Posted August 15, 2020, by Mike Daffron (daffmikron [at] gmail [dot] com)

Long Gone "Covered" Bridge

Long Grove “Covered” Bridge
Posted August 15, 2020, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

...Or just cover it with one of those big Yellow height limit signs!

Long Grove “Covered” Bridge
Posted August 15, 2020, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Doesn't look too bad... A little Duck Tape should fix it!

Long Grove “Covered” Bridge
Posted August 15, 2020, by Melissa Brand-Welch (melissabrandwelch [at] msn [dot] com)

It lasted a day. Wow.

Long Grove “Covered” Bridge
Posted August 15, 2020, by Mike Daffron (daffmikron [at] gmail [dot] com)

Cheap Trick or Tom Petty's "Damn The Torpedoes"

Long Grove “Covered” Bridge
Posted August 15, 2020, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Nathan couldn't hear the locals screaming at him to stop...

He had Cheap Trick's "Gonna Raise Hell" blaring through the bus speakers. 🤣🤣🤣

Long Grove “Covered” Bridge
Posted August 15, 2020, by Tyler

The average school bus is 12 tons, way past the 5 ton posted limit, yet it crossed the bridge without damaging the truss

Long Grove “Covered” Bridge
Posted August 15, 2020, by Art S. (asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)

Ha Ha Ha, Nathan strikes again! Nathan, the use of a school bus was a bold choice; considering all the schools are closed :^)

Though I must admit, targeting the covering two days after opening definitely makes a statement. Maybe you'll finally get your wish and the pony will be set free :^)

https://www.lakemchenryscanner.com/2020/08/15/school-bus-dam...

Regards,

Art S.

Long Grove “Covered” Bridge
Posted August 15, 2020, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

I'm trying hard not to laugh... My only concern being that they'll scrap the whole damn thing for a slab!

Off-structure Headache Bars for the win!!

Long Grove “Covered” Bridge
Posted August 15, 2020, by Mike Daffron (daffmikron [at] gmail [dot] com)

Destiny! Destiny! Covered Bridge is Not For Me!!

Long Grove “Covered” Bridge
Posted August 15, 2020, by Tyler
Long Grove “Covered” Bridge
Posted August 14, 2020, by Tyler

The bridge was reopened. The new fake cover doesn’t rest on the bridge which allowed the weight limit to increase to 5 tons.

Long Grove Covered Bridge
Posted July 15, 2020, by Tyler

The stone from the abutments was used as backfill for the new ones. A few stones were placed at the long grove historical center

https://www.longgroveil.gov/downtown/page/robert-parker-coff...

Long Grove Covered Bridge
Posted June 23, 2020, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

They need to leave the crappy fake cover off and let the true historic bridge be seen. It's ridiculous to not appreciate it for what it really is!

Long Grove Covered Bridge
Posted June 23, 2020, by Tyler

The cover hasn’t been constructed yet. Bridge has a new coat of black paint, however the original stone abutments were replaced with concrete ones that mimic stone. No workers were at the site when I visited today so I couldn’t ask where the stone went.

Long Grove Covered Bridge
Posted June 11, 2020, by Nathan Holth (webmaster [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

Bach Steel was in communication with an engineer involved with this bridge, but ultimately I guess they went a different direction in terms of doing a full in-kind restoration of the trusses. I had hoped to visit the bridge in the interim and get some photos of the bridge without the cover, but unfortunately that never materialized. If someone who lives in the area hurried they could probably get some photos now before they put the cover on.

Long Grove Covered Bridge
Posted June 10, 2020, by Art S. (asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)

Nathan,

1. Pity that Nels didn't get the restoration gig.

2. Get ready to rent a box truck, they're putting the cover back on :^)

Regards,

Art S.

Long Grove Covered Bridge
Posted June 10, 2020, by Tyler

I wish, but considering the logo of the village is the fake cover (without any part of the actual bridge), I doubt that would happen.

Long Grove Covered Bridge
Posted June 9, 2020, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

They should look at photo #9 here to see what this historic metal truss bridge should actually look like... and then have a community bonfire with the wood.

Long Grove Covered Bridge
Posted June 9, 2020, by Tyler

Bridge was recently moved offsite for repairs. It was moved back into place today. https://www.dailyherald.com/news/20200609/watch-crane-puts-h...

Long Grove Covered Bridge
Posted December 10, 2018, by Melissa Brand-Welch (melissabrandwelch [at] msn [dot] com)

Art, you're welcome. I agree with Nathan.

Long Grove Covered Bridge
Posted December 9, 2018, by Art S. (asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)

Melissa,

Thanks for the old photo. It goes a long way towards making Nathan's point (in my opinion).

Regards,

Art S.

Long Grove Covered Bridge
Posted July 9, 2018, by Nathan Holth (nathan [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

Art,

haha, no not involved! Actually I have been involved in years past trying to convince them to save the bridge and drawing focus to the historic metal trusses. I am not sure they ever did much restoration to the trusses however.

Long Grove Covered Bridge
Posted July 8, 2018, by Art S. (asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)

You can't make this stuff up - truck attack!:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eFSXW3_4MfA

Nathan, did you pay the guy to free the pony truss from its covering :^)

Regards,

Art S.

Long Grove Covered Bridge
Posted June 28, 2018, by Nathan Holth (nathan [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

I can confirm that the 1925 construction date for this bridge is not correct. Pin-connected pony truss bridges were not built at this time. National Bridge Inventory data is one of the least reliable sources of information on bridge construction dates, errors are common. A 1906 date and the builder of the bridge is strongly supported by the design details of the bridge.

Added to National Register
Posted June 26, 2018, by Aaron Underwood (aaron [at] longGroveHistory [dot] org)

The bridge was added to the National Historic Register on June 11, 2018.

ILLINOIS, LAKE COUNTY,

Buffalo Creek Bridge,

Robert Parker Coffin Rd. over Buffalo Cr.,

Long Grove, RS100001672,

LISTED, 6/11/2018

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:

http://www.captaindapper.com/2013/09/the-somewhat-historic-c...

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)

Steve,

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 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.