I think in remembrance to history a name change is on order.
the BP&J only ran north from Pontiac.
it states that the "Bump, Push and Jerk" built culverts and graded south of Pontiac past Chenoa but never built track.
It's possible this was one of the "culverts" and that it was never used.
Just a guess, but the probably would have been on the Bloomington, Pontiac, & Joliet Interurban Railroad.
After getting up close and personal I'm saying it was never a route 66 alignment and I'm pretty confident its a rail bridge.
It also reminded me of this bridge.
Here's my hints as to rail bridge. But again any or all could be wrong.
1) Route 66 was commissioned in 1926. A 1930 township map already shows it on the west side of the tracks. In 1930 that bridge couldn't have been that old so it's hard to imagine they abandoned it that early.
2) The Ocoya grain depot is just south and old maps also show a spur along here. So there might have been a second line.
3) I know old roads are narrow but it looks too narrow on Google Earth.
Field visit is in order, lets all meet there and decide.
The width and railing might give a clue as to whether it was a former rail alignment. I tend to think of this design as being used by railroads.
From what I know about Route 66, I think the following may be true about this bridge:
a. The bridge predates 66.
b. When 66 was created as a national highway it mainly incorporated already existing local roads into its roadway and given uniform signage, thus creating a national road that seemingly "doglegs" across the nation.
c. 66, after a few years, underwent constant change and upgrades to its route to make it more streamlined and easier to travel, thus at various locations its route alignment changed.
d. In the case of this bridge, the bridge existed as a local road of some type before 66, then for a while it took on the 66 identification, and then when 66 became the modern highway it is now the 66 alignment changed to its present location across the tracks and the bridge was abandoned in favor of the new bridge.
Please feel free to comment.
I'm somewhat of a Route 66 "roadie" and I'd seen that bridge tucked back in the weeds and always thought it was the original rail bridge rather than Rte 66. But that was always an assumption. To my knowledge Rte 66 was always west of the tracks but a 1911 township maps shows a "proposed" roadway to the east of the tracks. This winter it deserves a closer look.
Wow, that's one ancient, overgrown, and deteriorated bridge! Interesting find.
now here's a neat find: after adding the old route 66 bridge (1939) version, I just discovered an even older route 66 bridge. a copyrighted picture of it exists, but i had to added it as a link. can anyone give me more information for this bridge as compared to the other route 66 bridges over rooks creek? anyone is welcome to comment, and/or, add and correct the info for this bridge.