Rating:
8 votes

BP&J - Rooks Creek Bridge

Photos 

Photo taken by Steve Conro in December 2012

Enlarge

BH Photo #244794

Map 

Description 

Long abandoned interurban rail bridge.

Facts 

Overview
Abandoned closed-spandrel arch bridge over Rooks Creek
Location
Livingston County, Illinois
Status
Abandoned
History
Built 1909
Builders
- Burnham & Ives of Bloomington. Illinois (Subcontractor)
- Fisher Construction Co. of Joliet, Illinois (Contractor)
Railroads
- Bloomington, Pontiac, & Joliet Interurban Railroad (BP&J)
- Interurban
Design
Closed-spandrel arch
Dimensions
Length of largest span: 85.0 ft.
Total length: 300.0 ft.
Approximate latitude, longitude
+40.81419, -88.67743   (decimal degrees)
40°48'51" N, 88°40'39" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
16/358526/4519484 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Southwest Pontiac
Inventory number
BH 48464 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • May 28, 2016: New photo from Steve Conro
  • January 17, 2016: Updated by John Marvig: Corrected Build Date
  • July 16, 2015: New photos from John Marvig
  • January 1, 2014: Updated by Luke Harden: Added builder
  • December 20, 2012: Updated by Clark Vance: Added category "Interurban" and build date
  • December 19, 2012: Updated by Steve Conro: Added category "Skewed"
  • March 21, 2011: Added by James McCray

Sources 

Comments 

Old Rooks Creek Bridge
Posted December 23, 2012, by Steve Conro (sconro [at] yahoo [dot] com)

I think in remembrance to history a name change is on order.

Old Rooks Creek Bridge
Posted December 20, 2012, by Clark Vance (cvance [at] dogmail [dot] com)

According to:

http://www.american-rails.com/illinois-interurbans.html

the BP&J only ran north from Pontiac.

In this:

http://dwight-historical-society.org/Documents/Interurban.pd...

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.

Old Rooks Creek Bridge
Posted December 19, 2012, by Luke Harden (lmharden [at] iastate [dot] edu)

Just a guess, but the probably would have been on the Bloomington, Pontiac, & Joliet Interurban Railroad.

"Old" Old Route 66 Rooks Creek Bridge
Posted December 19, 2012, by Steve Conro (sconro [at] yahoo [dot] com)

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.

"Old" Old Route 66 Rooks Creek Bridge
Posted July 1, 2012, by Clark Vance (cvance [at] dogmail [dot] com)
"Old" Old Route 66 Rooks Creek Bridge
Posted July 1, 2012, by Steve Conro (sconro [at] yahoo [dot] com)

It also reminded me of this bridge.

http://www.bridgehunter.com/il/boone/bh48923/

"Old" Old Route 66 Rooks Creek Bridge
Posted July 1, 2012, by Steve Conro (sconro [at] yahoo [dot] com)

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.

"Old" Old Route 66 Rooks Creek Bridge
Posted June 29, 2012, by Clark Vance (cvance [at] dogmail [dot] com)

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.

"Old" Old Route 66 Rooks Creek Bridge
Posted June 29, 2012, by James McCray (jamesinslocomb [at] yahoo [dot] com)

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.

"Old" Old Route 66 Rooks Creek Bridge
Posted June 28, 2012, by Steve Conro (sconro [at] yahoo [dot] com)

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.

"Old" Old Route 66 Rooks Creek Bridge
Posted March 21, 2011, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

Wow, that's one ancient, overgrown, and deteriorated bridge! Interesting find.

"Old" Old Route 66 Rooks Creek Bridge
Posted March 21, 2011, by James McCray (jamesinslocomb [at] yahoo [dot] com)

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.