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Vermilion River Bridge

Photos 

Vermilion River @ Marquette/Lonestar quarry, look downstream

Bridge connected the Marquette Cement Co. quarries on the south side of the river with the plant on the north side. Rock trucks crossed bridge, drove thru a couple of tunnels thru the land on the other side to get to the plant itself. The river has a large horseshoe bend in it downstream of this structure so the river had to be crossed twice

ED 7-4-15

BH Photo #332630

Map 

Description 

I found this stunning 8-panel Pratt through truss bridge while searching for the mystery bridge in LaSalle county. It appears to be abandoned but in decent shape. Bing maps has beautiful birds-eye images of this structure. I noticed that the sway bracing is curved on the top and is trussed, much like a bowstring truss. The members appear to be decently heavy, suggesting riveted connections. The portal height appears to indicate a road crossing. My guess is late teens to early twenties for construction date. If anyone knows anything about this bridge, please fill us in!

Facts 

Overview
Abandoned 8-panel Pratt through truss bridge over Vermilion River on private property just south of Oglesby
Location
LaSalle County, Illinois
Status
Abandoned, but intact
Dimensions
Length of largest span: 144.9 ft.
Total length: 173.5 ft.
Deck width: 15.0 ft.
Approximate latitude, longitude
+41.27998, -89.04854   (decimal degrees)
41°16'48" N, 89°02'55" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
16/328440/4571861 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
La Salle
Inventory number
BH 48380 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • August 22, 2015: New photo from Gene Smania
  • July 17, 2015: New photo from Gene Smania
  • March 7, 2011: Added by Matthew Lohry

Sources 

  • Matt Lohry

Comments 

Vermilion River Bridge
Posted March 10, 2011, by Gene Smania

That is probably a private bridge built and owned by the Marquette Cement Co. of Oglesby, Illinois. Marquette is now owned by Lonestar. The bridge connected the quarries south of town near Bailey Falls to the cement plant which is located on the southeast edge of the town. They had at least two tunnels that led from that bridge to another bridge at the plant and used large trucks to haul the limestone from the quarry. The crusher for the limestone was just across the river, at the north end of the second bridge. The quarry operations ended years ago and were moved to the north side of town where Marquette had purchased the abandoned quarry of the Lehigh Cement Co., which ceased operation in 1963. Stone from this quarry was transported south acros the Vermilion River to the plant by a long conveyor. The plant operated under Lonestar and most recently under Buzzi-Unicem. It is currently shut down. The story is that the tunnel entrances have been blasted shut for safety reasons. All company property in the area of this bridge has been posted and off limits since the mid 1980's. The Vermilion River thru the property was shut down to all boating last year and the state is trying to work out an agreement with the company for access. The attached bridge photo is of the construction of the bridge at the plant, not the quarry bridge. The other photo is of the north end of the tunnel--the side closest to the plant. You can see the old trucks--tandem boxes, side dump--they used in the 1970's on the right side of the photo

Vermilion River Bridge
Posted March 7, 2011, by Matthew Lohry

OK, I tried posting links to the birds-eye views, but they didn't work (they never do! :>P). The map location is accurate, so they should be easy to find manually.