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Wabash - Horse Creek Bridge


Wabash Railroad Bridge #1149

Wabash Railroad plan


BH Photo #309820



Pratt Through truss bridge over Horse Creek on Abandoned Wabash Railroad
Will County, Illinois
Intact but closed to all traffic
Future prospects
Available for reuse
Original 518' pile trestle at this location built 1883-1884; replaced 1903 with this bridge
- Norfolk Southern Railway (NS)
- Wabash Railroad (WAB)
Pratt through truss
Length of largest span: 130.0 ft.
Total length: 133.3 ft.
Deck width: 17.0 ft.
Vertical clearance above deck: 26.0 ft.
Also called
Wabash Railroad Bridge #1149
Approximate latitude, longitude
+41.22809, -88.13738   (decimal degrees)
41°13'41" N, 88°08'15" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
16/404674/4564701 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Inventory number
BH 64745 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • January 2, 2015: Updated by James Holzmeier: Re-added Wabash bridge number to title
  • December 26, 2014: Updated by John Marvig: Added information
  • December 15, 2014: Added by James Holzmeier



Wabash Railroad Bridge #1149 - Horse Creek Bridge
Posted January 4, 2015, by Fmiser (fmiser [at] gmail [dot] com)

"I'm relying primarily on what Google Earth has for creek names and such."

The best map I've found for feature names is the one right hear on the site. On each county page, in the pale blue band at the top is a link to a "Detail Map" (or "Big Map") This is a fairly large PNG image with lots of handy details.

So for this bridge, the county page is:


and the map is:


Wabash Railroad Bridge #1149 - Horse Creek Bridge
Posted January 3, 2015, by John Marvig (marvigj27 [at] gmail [dot] com)


First, the site (at least in my eyes) was intended to be both a database and a resource. So I believe entries should serve as such, making the most current information available, while providing a historical narrative.

One such measure is to accurately name bridges, meaning the most common/current name is visible. Undoubtedly, it may seem as if the builder isn't getting credit, although the Alternate Names and categories can provide this. I would tell your followers to find the category that says Wabash. The even more inventive part of this system is they can do a catagory search and find specific designs as well.

If you cannot find the waterway it crosses, I would suggest using the bridge numbers, which is what I do for those bridges, although NS numbers may be more helpful.

Of course, multiple pages can be solved by contacting the webmaster. It may take time to have them merged, although it will eventually happen.

Thanks for the great contributions and keep the great work coming!


Wabash Railroad Bridge #1149 - Horse Creek Bridge
Posted January 3, 2015, by James Holzmeier (wabashry [at] gmail [dot] com)

Thanks John, I had wondered why the bridge names had been changed.

I was not aware that the alternate names get scanned during a search. Good to know. I wondered about that, since (for example) on the old Wabash line up to Omaha, there were a number of bridges already entered under the name "Wabash Trace Nature Trail". So what bridges I entered, I just used that, hoping that somehow a future researcher wouldn't miss out on these structures! I did enter the bridge number in the alternate name field on those, as I recall. So as I say, it is really good to know they can be found easily during a search.

What I am wondering though, is if I have Wabash bridges crossing creeks that are unknown or unnamed, are they all supposed to be "Wabash - Unknown Creek Bridge"? We'll end up with a bunch of those, if that is the case, since I don't have access to plat maps of the counties, just the Wabash bridge books. Sometimes the creeks & rivers are named in those, but mostly not. I'm relying primarily on what Google Earth has for creek names and such. I just thought having the bridge # following "Wabash Railroad Bridge" would provide a solution to such a dilemma.

I do respectfully disagree with re-naming my entries to their most current owner (i.e. Metra or Norfolk Southern bridge), because (at least to me) it seems to give short shrift to the original owner/builder. Just my .02 cents...I'll go along with whatever format is most properly used here; no worries!

To provide y'all with some insight on why the number of Wabash bridges has ballooned from less than a hundred to over 400 (at present), my data entry to the site is primarily for future researchers and modelers...modelers would want to know the bridge numbers for their layouts. And as you can imagine, bridge details & dimensions are critically important for modeling purposes. I have all this data available (you may have seen the scans from the bridge books I've posted on some entries) so I figured hey, why not enter it at a site where the info can be so easily shared? Modelers who email the WRHS asking "what type of bridge crossed the Kankakee River at Custer Park, and how long was it?" can be directed straight to the Bridgehunter site. Easy peasy!

BTW, I won't be entering EVERY Wabash bridge, as most are simply concrete or corrugated iron pipes. It would take me years to enter all of them! Only the most notable bridges are included...like pile trestles, plate girder bridges and the like.

On a different note, what to do about the multiple entries for the Wabash swing bridges at Meredosia and Valley City, Illinois? How do we get all those merged together?

Anyway, thank you for your kind words & suggestions. I really feel that this is the best bridge website, with some of the most knowledgeable, communicative folks out there. I am grateful to be a part of it. I have learned SO much from this site!

Best regards,

James Holzmeier

Wabash Railroad Historical Society

Wabash Railroad Bridge #1149 - Horse Creek Bridge
Posted January 2, 2015, by John Marvig (marvigj27 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Hey James,

Just thought I would let you know my philosophy behind the naming scheme of these Wabash Bridges.

Unfortunately, I have to disagree about adding the bridge numbers into the title, unless absolutely necessary.

What it does is confuse those non railroad fans, and even those who specialize in railroad structures. Even myself, who is normally pretty good about knowing a variety of railroads in the midwest, was confused and a little puzzled about it.

While I (and others) really appreciate the work and dedication you have put into adding these Wabash bridges, and especially highlighting the history of the railroad unto which your fine organization gives light, adding the bridge number of a fallen railroad to the bridge titles only makes it harder for others to build on your research.

When I was adding Wabash structures in Will County, I accidentally added a second copy of this bridge, thinking nobody had found it. Unfortunately where I got burnt was I didn't know you had added it, under an uncommon name. While adding the second copy of a page is no big deal, and only a minute of my time taken, it can confuse others to have these bridge numbers. We wouldn't want someone to miss visiting a structure like this because they couldn't find the BH entry! :)

Fortunately our webmaster had the foresight to add a second name box. The alternative name box gets searched as well during a search, so in the off chance somebody is searching for a bridge number, it can be found.

Don't get me wrong, having bridge numbers is a fantastic way to identify these structures, and give names to them when no other name can be had. The typical naming scheme used on BH, and many similar sites is "Road Name - Obstacle Name Bridge". For example, this bridge would be called "Wabash - Horse Creek Bridge".

I hope this clears up any confusion to why I changed the name of a number of structures in Will County. I surely can speak for everyone when I say, we appreciate the hard work you have done, and continue to look forward to it!