All five bridges have had nearly the same name - Smith's Bridge or Smith Bridge.
This 5th Smith Bridge was built in 1957 as part of the new freeway alignment of US 66 between Gardner and the Tri-State Tollway (I-294). It was built on a rather severe skew of 60 degrees; note how the two spans are not aligned. The new freeway and this bridge became Interstate 55 in 1960. With several subsequent rehabilitation projects, most recently in 2014, it continues to serve over 25,000 vehicles daily in each direction on Interstate 55.
NBI and IDOT treat this as two separate bridges, one southbound (IL 099-0008) and one northbound (IL 099-0009). Traffic counts and structural conditions are shown here for the southbound bridge only, and should be doubled for total traffic count on the bridge pair.
I added a bunch of photos of Smith Bridge. All were taken from the parking lot (which extends under the bridge) or the outdoor deck of Mugz's Hideout, a boater bar just to the northwest of the bridge on the river. Go in, order a drink from the friendly staff, tip well, and then you can walk out on their deck/pier for great views of the bridge and the river.
Besides the current 1957 Smith Bridge, from Mugz's deck you can see the sites of all four predecessor bridges that were built near here, the first in 1852. Nothing remains of any of them.
Another rehabilitation of the southbound bridge is nearing completion. The northbound bridge will be closed for rehabilitation in 2014. Nice to see this pair of cantilevered trusses, originally built as US-66, get the continuing maintenance needed to accommodate their very heavy traffic load on modern I-55. Project photos: http://www.billburmaster.com/rmsandw/illinois/misc/55desrvr....
I remember them redoing the deck of the northbound bridge as a young child in 79. All traffic was diverted to the southbound bridge. Does anyone else remember this? I only see it saying it was rehabilitated in 1997 and not also 1979.
There used to be an even older truss bridge just upstream of the current twin I-55 bridges that once carried US-66 and was still intact in 1961 when this aerial photo was taken.
Of course that bridge was later demolished and doesn't appear on any newer 1970s or later aerial views.
This bridge should be added to category US-66. It was originally built for a new freeway alignment of US 66 in 1957, which subsequently became I-55.
Not sure you have the right bridge. I think the smith bridge structure was over the railway to the south of the des plains river. It was redone/removed in the early to mid seventies i think.
This is the bridge where serial killer John Wayne Gacy disposed of his last four victim's bodies before his capture in 1978.
On this bridge is where notorious serial killer John Wayne Gacy dumped his last four victim's bodies into the Des Plaines river according to the book KILLER CLOWN written by Terry Sullivan.
Who was the contractor that built this bridge?
What year was it started?