4 votes

Hohman Avenue Railroad Bridge


Holman Avenue Monon Railroad Bridge

Photo supplied by enforcement officials shows illegal scrapping of bridge Jan. 2015

Photo provided to Northwest Indiana Times - nwitimes.com

View this photo at bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com

BH Photo #314831




HAMMOND, Ind. Jan. 30, 2015 | Someone is dismantling the Monon Bridge over the Grand Calumet River in Hammond, sending railroad ties and hunks of steel into the waterway and officials are working to determine the culprit.

Ronald Novak, director of the Hammond Department of Environmental Management, said he received an anonymous tip around noon Thursday from someone suspecting scrappers were removing the metal and throwing the wooden railroad ties into the river.

"It is being removed and there are some good portions of the river where bulldozers are going into the riverbank," Novak said.

City records show no permits issued for any work at the site, Novak said.

The work is taking place in an area west of Hohman Avenue, east of State Line Avenue, south of Marble Street and north of Industrial Road.

Novak is concerned about environmental hazards from the work, including the potential for leaching creosote from the wooden railroad ties in the river.

Creosote is derived in part from coal tar and is relatively soluble in water, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. The ATSDR lists creosote as a carcinogen that can cause damage to the liver and kidneys in exposures to high concentrations.

"It could also cause a jam in the river with rain and ice build up," Novak said.

Novak and a city inspector observed shiny, new aluminum ladders in the water on Thursday which they believed were being used to send workers into the water to cut up the steel parts to haul away.

Novak said he contacted Hammond Port Authority Director Milan Kruszynski, who alerted the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Novak on Friday morning contacted the Indiana Department of Environmental Management and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources to report the issue as well.

Also see- http://www.nwitimes.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/court-re...


Abandoned Warren through truss with alternating verticals bridge over Grand Calumet River on Monon Railroad (abandoned)
Hammond, Lake County, Indiana
Partially Demolished
Future prospects
Destroyed by suspected illegal scrap operations 2014-2015
Built ca. 1909 for Monon (Chicago, Indianapolis & Louisville) Railroad; abandoned after 1981 and before 1989.
- American Bridge Co. of New York
- Page & Schnable of Chicago, Illinois
- Chicago, Indianapolis, & Louisville Railway (CIL)
- Monon Railroad (MON)
Warren through truss with alternating verticals, one span bascule lift
Also called
Monon - Grand Calument River Bridge
N & W RR: Grand Calumet River Bridge (c.1910)
Approximate latitude, longitude
+41.62570, -87.52168   (decimal degrees)
41°37'33" N, 87°31'18" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
16/456543/4608350 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Lake Calumet
Inventory number
BH 51551 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • November 6, 2017: Updated by Ed Hollowell: Add link to news abnouit this span, correct # of spans and date of abandonment.
  • May 28, 2017: New photos from Tony Dillon
  • June 2, 2015: New photo from Douglas Butler
  • June 1, 2015: New photos from Douglas Butler
  • January 30, 2015: Updated by Alexander D. Mitchell IV: Bridge damaged/demolished by suspected illegal scrappers
  • June 17, 2013: Updated by John Marvig: Added categories "Riveted", "railroad"
  • March 1, 2012: Added by Frank Hicks

Related Bridges 



Hohman Avenue Railroad Bridge
Posted November 6, 2017, by George oakley (Georgeoakley49 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

This guy caused an oil spill in the Schuylkill River in Pa.?When did this happen?I live near the Schuylkill River in southeastern Pa.

Hohman Avenue Railroad Bridge
Posted November 6, 2017, by Ed Hollowell (erhollowell [at] aol [dot] com)
Hohman Avenue Railroad Bridge
Posted September 28, 2016, by Nathan Holth (webmaster [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

Every time I think of this bridge and the evil, selfish, and sorry excuse for a human being who committed this deed, I want to give him a date with OLD SPARKY.

Hohman Avenue Railroad Bridge
Posted September 28, 2016, by Anonymous

Apparently the alleged perp allegedly returned to the scene of the crime and allegedly scrapped out the rest of the bridge.

He also spent some time in prison for causing an oil spill in the Schuylkill River in Pennsylvania.


Holman Avenue Railroad Bridge
Posted May 13, 2015, by Anonymous

From a historical perspective, the last thing we need is historic bridges disappearing illegally. From a public safety perspective, the last thing we need is bridges in use being weakened - a practice which this guy does not seem to be guilt of. Regardless, he needs to be prosecuted and punished severely before he starts removing other bridges. I am afraid that if he just gets a mild slap on the wrist, or if all charges are dismissed then he will be right back at it. We are not dealing with silly teenagers committing silly pranks here. We are dealing with professionals who are putting the public at risk.

Holman Avenue Railroad Bridge
Posted May 12, 2015, by John Marvig (marvigj27 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Better hope he doesn't get to the Sohl Avenue Bridge....

Holman Avenue Railroad Bridge
Posted May 12, 2015, by Matt Lohry

I just noticed that the person wanting to demolish the buoys in anon's post IS THE SAME person who demolished this bridge!! He a selfish, arrogant, greedy scumball who is obviously interested in his own personal gain and cares NOTHING about anyone's children or their welfare and safety!

Holman Avenue Railroad Bridge
Posted May 12, 2015, by John Marvig

It's good money...until they catch you!

Holman Avenue Railroad Bridge
Posted May 12, 2015, by Anonymous


No wonder scrappers have a reputation for being a bunch of mad cockwombles...

Holman Avenue Railroad Bridge
Posted February 6, 2015, by Nathan Holth (webmaster [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

I should also comment that the toxicity of the Grand Cal river's oddly colored water (90% industrial and municipal runoff) is likely far more of a hazard to children than the bridge ever was... as are the many ACTIVE railroad bridges in the region that kids might wander onto... but I don't see anyone illegally demolishing those bridges or offending industries. The guy is a hypocritical idiot.

Holman Avenue Railroad Bridge
Posted February 6, 2015, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

I noted his analogy with a sunken ship. I hate to break the news, but sunken ships are not available for the taking either. Sorry folks, it is not "finders keepers".

Holman Avenue Railroad Bridge
Posted February 6, 2015, by Nathan Holth (webmaster [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

ABSOLUTELY ZERO BRIDGES are available using this man's argument because what he did was illegal. This man is a self-centered low-life criminal from whom lies are pouring out of like a waterfall. Bridges are ALWAYS owned by someone, and that someone must give permission for any action, and must also comply with all applicable laws. It may be a challenge to learn who owns an abandoned bridge, but it can (and must) be done.

There was absolutely nothing wrong with this bridge and it was in great condition. This individual basically took a safe structure and created a dangerous situation that also resulted in needless destruction of a historic bridge for his own personal benefit.

Demolition of this bridge should have required Section 106 and mitigation since the article suggests an Army Corps permit was needed. This person should be required to pay for what reasonable mitigation for demolition of this historic bridge would have been. That should be the blast cleaning and repainting the Chicago and Alton Railroad Bridge in Chicago, the only other remaining bridge of this type.

As for the historic of the Hohman Avenue Bridge, I was never able to peg a specific date on the bridge as a whole. However, I have a ca. 1909 date for the approach through truss span, but unsure if that approach was added later, or is original construction. The Bridgemen's Magazine article referring to this bridge was not very clear.

Holman Avenue Railroad Bridge
Posted February 5, 2015, by ArtS (asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)

Well, that's a novel argument. I wonder what else might be available for the taking by using that argument...

I guess that since he has declared himself the owner, he should be held financially responsible for the brownfields cleanup associated with the property the bridge served.


Art S.

Holman Avenue Railroad Bridge
Posted February 5, 2015, by Will Truax (Bridgewright [at] aol [dot] com)

The doubly audacious idiotic moron declared abandonment and salvage rights...

And he suggests he is not a thieving scrapper because he did it for the good of the children -


Holman Avenue Railroad Bridge
Posted February 2, 2015, by ArtS (asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)


I was going to post that but I didn't have the heart.

I also didn't know the reporting marks :^)


Art S.

Holman Avenue Railroad Bridge
Posted February 1, 2015, by Nathan Holth (nathan [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

Great. A bunch of idiotic morons have managed to destroy one of only two remaining page bascules in the country.

Hohman Avenue Railroad Bridge
Posted August 26, 2013, by Eric Reinert (ericreinert [at] yahoo [dot] com)

A couple of points: The Monon called this the "Calumet River Bridge", and it was used at least a couple of times a week into 1984 to deliver newsprint to the Hammond Times.

It is still there... not that you'd want to traverse it. The last time I took pictures of it in October, 1999 it's ties were already pretty rotten. Here is a link to my photos of it. One is looking South toward Downtown Hammond, the other looking North. I walked through the river bed rather than over the ties to get the Southbound view after I walked to it from Downtown Hammond:



It was built when they seriously thought the Calumet through here could be navigable some day. It is mostly dry creekbed and has been for a long time.

Here is a picture of it in better days, probably late 1950's:


Also, don't confuse it with the Little Calumet River bridge (at the south end of the Monon's South Hammond yard) or the bridge over the Grand Calumet River (on the C&WI) in Illinois which the Monon used as well...

Best regards,

Eric Reinert

Bolingbrook, IL