7 votes

MILW - Jenkins Ford High Bridge


Photo taken by Mike Roegner

BH Photo #185315



The tallest bridge in Illinois, at 135 ft. According to locals, in the 1960's the bridge was open to vehicular traffic as an "everyday thing", even though supposedly the railroad was still active by the year 1980.


Lost Deck girder bridge over Vermilion River on former CMStP&P Railroad
Vermilion County, Illinois
Built ca. 1906 for the Chicago Southern Railway, removed in 1987
- Chicago Bridge & Iron Works of Chicago, Illinois
- Chicago Southern Railway (CSRy)
- Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific Railroad (MILW; CMStP&P; CMStP)
- Chicago, Terre Haute & Southeastern Railway (CTH&S)
Deck plate girder
Length of largest span: 200.0 ft.
Total length: 1,600.0 ft.
Approximate latitude, longitude
+40.03723, -87.55785   (decimal degrees)
40°02'14" N, 87°33'28" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
16/452408/4432038 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Danville SE
Inventory number
BH 44136 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • September 29, 2015: New photos from Jacob P. Bernard
  • September 22, 2015: New photo from Jacob P. Bernard
  • April 2, 2014: New photos from Jacob P. Bernard
  • May 1, 2013: New photo from Jacob P. Bernard
  • April 30, 2013: New photos from Jacob P. Bernard
  • April 22, 2013: New photo from Jacob P. Bernard
  • January 13, 2011: New photo from Mike Roegner
  • January 8, 2011: New photos from Jacob P. Bernard
  • August 19, 2010: New photos from Jacob P. Bernard
  • March 9, 2010: New photos from Jacob P. Bernard
  • February 14, 2010: Added by Jacob P. Bernard


  • Jacob P. Bernard
  • Mike Roegner


Jenkins Ford Railroad Bridge
Posted April 8, 2018, by Jim bailey (jimmysr71bailey [at] yahoo [dot] com)

as a kid, this bridge was a big shortcut between where I lived and westville. It had blocked run off areas where if you were on the tracks and a train was coming you could run to the nearest one and be "safe" from getting cut up by the train. As I remember there was not a lot of extra room on the bridge when one came across. I had driven my dirt bike across the bridge many time and every time had to dry my hands on the other side.

Jenkins Ford Railroad Bridge 1940
Posted December 21, 2015, by Chas John (chasjohn2001 at yahoo dot com)

1940 aerial image of Jenkins Ford Railroad Bridge

Jenkins Ford Railroad Bridge
Posted October 22, 2015, by Joseph Brewer (baxter2_1998 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

I remember as a young child (probably in 1982 or 1983) being with my mother and her boyfriend wanted to drive across this bridge. He did - but we didn't go. I remember watching his Jeep go across this bridge. It's probably one of the earliest memories I have.

It's a real shame we didn't keep this bridge (and others).

I went to Bloomfield, Indiana recently to visit the famous Tulip trestle - amazing! Go see it!

Jenkins Ford Railroad Bridge
Posted March 29, 2015, by Chuck Johnson (Chasjohn2001 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

I rode my motorcycle across this bridge back in 1975~76. Yes, it is very tall, and very long. I don't think I would do it today.

Jenkins Ford Railroad Bridge
Posted November 3, 2010, by Mike Roegner (roegner [at] soltec [dot] net)

This photo shows what is probably a work train on the bridge. It may have been taken during the Walsh Road's construction, which would put it around 1905-1906. This is from a postcard, and many of those were colored without the artist having any reference to the actual color of things. He seems to have made the bridge a bit on the rusty side. From newspaper accounts, the bridge wasn't used for a while after it was built because John Walsh was dealing with his mounting financial difficulties.

An account of an accident during the bridge's construction mentions a workman employed by the Chicago Bridge Company, which may give a indication of who built it.

Webmaster's note: The photo that was here has been incorporated into the main site.

Jenkins Ford Trestle
Posted February 24, 2010, by Mike Roegner (roegner [at] soltec [dot] net)

Here's a few pics. It was a cloudy day, so they're not the best. This was a nice quiet spot along the river, though.

I had heard rumors that the township wanted to convert this into a vehicular bridge after the railroad abandoned it. That would have been one very long single lane bridge, and an odd thing to do since the township had taken out the parallel truss on the township road back in 1964. The road was still there - would have been better to just build another bridge. Now there are no bridges there at all.

I had also heard an unverifiable rumor that some of my co-workers friends got drunk and tried to drive their pickup over the trestle - in the middle of the night.

Webmaster's note: The photos that were here have been incorporated into the main site.