Roger Deschner

About Me 

Email: rogerdeschner [at] gmail [dot] com

I am a lifelong amateur photographer and incurable tourist who has pointed my camera at a number of bridges along the way. Some of my pictures of bridges have accidentally become historic, as the bridges have been destroyed or altered since I photographed them. I am currently focusing on bridges in the Chicago area.

Favorite Photos 

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View from southwest, ground level

Archer Avenue Bridge (Cook County, Illinois)
This close up view from the southwest at ground level highlights the incredibly intricate design of this bridge.

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Aerial view of bridge

San Diego - Coronado Bridge (San Diego County, California)
Photo taken from commercial jetliner. Looking north, Coronado Island is at lower left; Downtown San Diego is at upper left.

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Cupcakes

Fort Morgan Rainbow Arch Bridge (Morgan County, Colorado)
Freshly fallen snow is frosting on the arches like a double row of cupcakes. Snow on the deck makes for nice shadows too. View from north portal.

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View from southeast

NCRC - South Loup River Bridge (Howard County, Nebraska)

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View from southwest

Wells Street Bridge (Cook County, Illinois)
View from southwest with Brown Line train crossing on top deck. The grey south leaf has already been replaced, and the red north leaf is awaiting replacement.

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South Portal

Nine Span Bridge (Lake County, Indiana)
January 13, 2013 was a very somber, grey day. Somehow an appropriate benediction as the bridge carried traffic for its last full day.

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South Portal Traffic

Arsenal Bridge (Scott County, Iowa)
Train enters south portal, while a car exits underneath the train.

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Bridge before collapse

I-35W Mississippi River Bridge (Hennepin County, Minnesota)
View from above, from a high floor of the hotel southeast of the bridge. Picture taken just 4 years before the collapse. Same view of new bridge in Photo 44 at http://bridgehunter.com/mn/hennepin/bh49737/

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Recent Updates 

West Division Street Bascule Bridge (Cook County, Illinois)
Bascule bridge over North Branch Chicago River on Division Street in Chicago
August 14, 2018: Updated by Roger Deschner: Added category "Doomed"
I-35W Mississippi River Bridge (Hennepin County, Minnesota)
Collapsed deck truss bridge over the Mississippi River on I-35W in Minneapolis
August 2, 2018: Photo imported
Red Cliff Arch Bridge (Eagle County, Colorado)
Steel deck arch bridge over Eagle River, Union Pacific Railroad, and Water Street on US 24 at Red Cliff
August 1, 2018: Updated by Roger Deschner: Added category "Painted green"
UP - Red Cliff Eagle River Bridge (Eagle County, Colorado)
Pony/through plate girder bridge over Eagle River on Union Pacific Railroad
August 1, 2018: Added
Red Cliff Pine Street Bridge (Eagle County, Colorado)
Wooden arch bridge over the Union Pacific Railroad and Eagle River on Pine Street in Red Cliff
August 1, 2018: Updated by Roger Deschner: Update description, add photos and street view
Red Cliff Pine Street Bridge (Eagle County, Colorado)
Wooden arch bridge over the Union Pacific Railroad and Eagle River on Pine Street in Red Cliff
August 1, 2018: New Street View added
Mississippi River Headwater Log Bridge (Clearwater County, Minnesota)
Timber stringer bridge over Mississippi River on Pedestrian Pathway
July 29, 2018: Added
MN-200 Mississippi River Bridge (Clearwater County, Minnesota)
Steel stringer bridge over Mississippi River on MN 200
July 29, 2018: Updated by Roger Deschner: Road is MN 200, not Township 200
CR 117-Mississippi River Bridge (Replacement) (Clearwater County, Minnesota)
Timber stringer bridge over Mississippi River on Cr 117
July 29, 2018: New photos
Mississippi River Headwater Rock Bridge (Clearwater County, Minnesota)
Bridge over Mississippi River on foot path
July 29, 2018: New photos
US52 Running Slough Bridge (Jackson County, Iowa)
Through truss bridge over Running Slough (Mississippi River Overflow) on US 52/IA 64 in Sabula
July 11, 2018: Updated by Roger Deschner: Bridge lost when pier undermined in flood
New Savanna-Sabula Bridge (Carroll County, Illinois)
Steel network tied-arch bridge over Mississippi River on US-52/IA-64/IL-64
July 11, 2018: Updated by Roger Deschner: Bridge is closed due to loss of a bridge on only access road
Merrimac Ferry (Columbia County, Wisconsin)
Cable ferry across Wisconsin River on Wis 113
June 18, 2018: Updated by Roger Deschner: Add photos; expand description; general updates; add category "Cable Ferry"
Merrimac Ferry (Columbia County, Wisconsin)
Cable ferry across Wisconsin River on Wis 113
June 18, 2018: New photos
Winona Bridge (new) (Winona County, Minnesota)
Concrete deck box girder bridge over Mississippi River on westbound MN 43
June 18, 2018: Updated by Roger Deschner: Incorporate NBI data
Michigan Avenue Bridge (Cook County, Illinois)
Bascule bridge over Main Branch Chicago River on Michigan Avenue (former US 14) in Chicago
May 6, 2018: New video
FIU-Sweetwater University City Bridge (collapsed) (Miami-Dade County, Florida)
Lost concrete truss bridge over US 41 and Tamiami Canal on pedestrian walkway
April 25, 2018: Updated by Roger Deschner: Changed bridge type from cable stayed to concrete truss with faux cable stays
FIU-Sweetwater University City Bridge (collapsed) (Miami-Dade County, Florida)
Lost concrete truss bridge over US 41 and Tamiami Canal on pedestrian walkway
March 17, 2018: Added
35th Street Pedestrian Bridge (new) (Cook County, Illinois)
Self-anchored suspension bridge over Metra Electric Line, South Shore Railroad, Canadian National Railway, South Lake Shore Drive (US 41), and Lakefront Trail, on pedestrian pathway that is an extention of the 35th Street sidewalks
March 12, 2018: Updated by Roger Deschner: Expanded description of bridge's unique design elements
Clarence Darrow Memorial Bridge (Cook County, Illinois)
Steel stringer bridge over Jackson Park North Lagoon on Columbia Drive
March 11, 2018: Added
Gunnison River Bridges (Gunnison County, Colorado)
Pair of through trusses over the Gunnison River on Old US 50 just west of Gunnison
March 10, 2018: New Street View added
35th Street Pedestrian Bridge (new) (Cook County, Illinois)
Self-anchored suspension bridge over Metra Electric Line, South Shore Railroad, Canadian National Railway, South Lake Shore Drive (US 41), and Lakefront Trail, on pedestrian pathway that is an extention of the 35th Street sidewalks
March 10, 2018: New Street View added
Eads Bridge (St. Louis, Missouri)
Three-span steel arch bridge over the Mississippi River and N. Leonor K. Sullivan Blvd. in downtown St. Louis
February 25, 2018: New photo
US 66 Meramec River Bridge (St. Louis County, Missouri)
Deck truss bridge over Meramec River on Old US 66 at Route 66 State Park
February 25, 2018: New photo
BNSF - Canal Street Lift Bridge (Cook County, Illinois)
Pratt through truss bridge over South Branch of Chicago River on BNSF Railway
February 18, 2018: New Street View added
Ford Motor Plant Torrence Avenue Pedestrian Bridge (Cook County, Illinois)
Through truss bridge over Torrence Avenue on pedestrian pathway
February 18, 2018: Updated by Roger Deschner: Added
Ford Motor Plant Torrence Avenue Pedestrian Bridge (Cook County, Illinois)
Through truss bridge over Torrence Avenue on pedestrian pathway
February 18, 2018: New Street View added
Ford Motor Plant Torrence Avenue Pedestrian Bridge (Cook County, Illinois)
Through truss bridge over Torrence Avenue on pedestrian pathway
February 18, 2018: Added
CWI - Calumet River Bridge (Cook County, Illinois)
Warren through truss with all verticals bridge over Calumet River on abandoned Chicago & Western Indiana Railroad
February 18, 2018: Updated by Roger Deschner: Add 2012 rehab and temporary use as a road bridge
Torrence Avenue Bridge (Cook County, Illinois)
Vertical lift bridge over Calumet River on Torrence Avenue in Chicago
February 18, 2018: New photos
Ford City Drive Overpass (Cook County, Illinois)
Concrete frame bridge over S. Pulaski Road (Crawford Avenue) on Ford City Drive in Chicago
February 18, 2018: New Street View added
CTA Brown Line - North Branch Chicago River Bridge (Cook County, Illinois)
Lost Steel stringer bridge over North Branch Chicago River on Chicago Transit Authority Brown Line
February 18, 2018: Updated by Roger Deschner: Bridge crossed North Branch, not South Branch, of the Chicago River
Rio Hondo Bridge (Lincoln County, New Mexico)
Through truss bridge over Rio Hondo on NM 395
February 1, 2018: Updated by Roger Deschner: Added category "US 66"
I-80 Des Plaines River Bridge (Will County, Illinois)
Pair of through truss bridges over Des Plaines on I-80 in Joliet
February 1, 2018: Updated by Roger Deschner: Added category "Doomed"
Hayes Drive Bridge (Cook County, Illinois)
Closed-spandrel Melan concrete arch bridge over Jackson Park Lagoon on Hayes Drive in Chicago
January 28, 2018: Updated by Roger Deschner: Added photos, this is a rare Melan arch
Hayes Drive Bridge (Cook County, Illinois)
Closed-spandrel Melan concrete arch bridge over Jackson Park Lagoon on Hayes Drive in Chicago
January 28, 2018: New photos
Gapstow Bridge (Original) (New York County, New York)
Lost Arch bridge over The Pond on Trail
January 26, 2018: Photo imported
BNSF - IH5 Overpass (SB) (Pierce County, Washington)
Pony/through plate girder bridge over Interstate 5 Southbound Lanes on BNSF Railway
December 18, 2017: Photo imported
Arlington Memorial Bridge (Washington, District of Columbia)
Bascule bridge with concrete arch approaches over Potomac River on Memorial Avenue
December 4, 2017: Photo imported
CNW - Winona Swing Bridge (Winona County, Minnesota)
Lost through truss bridge over Mississippi River on Former Chicago & Northwestern Railway
November 11, 2017: Updated by Roger Deschner: Add description, historical photo, corrected build date to 1871
CNW - Winona Swing Bridge (Winona County, Minnesota)
Lost through truss bridge over Mississippi River on Former Chicago & Northwestern Railway
November 11, 2017: Photo imported
WBR - Winona Bridge (Winona County, Minnesota)
Lost Through truss bridge over Mississippi River on Winona Bridge Railway
November 11, 2017: Added
John A. Latsch Wagon Bridge (Winona County, Minnesota)
Concrete arch bridge over North Channel Mississippi River on Old Duke Road in Winona
November 11, 2017: Updated by Roger Deschner: Added categories "Mississippi River", "Concrete balustrade"
Winona High Wagon Bridge (Winona County, Minnesota)
Lost Through truss bridge over Mississippi River on MN 43
November 11, 2017: Updated by Roger Deschner: Added categories "Mississippi River", "Wooden deck", "Curved"
John A. Latsch Wagon Bridge (Winona County, Minnesota)
Concrete arch bridge over North Channel Mississippi River on Old Duke Road in Winona
November 10, 2017: Updated by Roger Deschner: Bridge has only 12 main arch spans. 13th span listed in NBI is approach span.
Winona North Channel Bridge (Winona County, Minnesota)
Concrete stringer bridge over North Channel Mississippi River on MN 43/WI 54
November 10, 2017: Photo imported
Winona High Wagon Bridge (Winona County, Minnesota)
Lost Through truss bridge over Mississippi River on MN 43
November 10, 2017: Added
Fayette Station Bridge (Fayette County, West Virginia)
Through truss bridge over New River on CR 82
November 7, 2017: New photos
Fayette Station Bridge (Fayette County, West Virginia)
Through truss bridge over New River on CR 82
November 6, 2017: New photos
CSX - Wolf Creek Bridge (Fayette County, West Virginia)
Deck plate girder bridge over Wolf Creek & CR 82 on CSX Railroad
November 6, 2017: New photos

Recent Comments 

Posted August 14, 2018

Now doomed, though there is a proposal to relocate it to Blackhawk Street. One more step on the city's plan to demolish all historic bascule bridges on the North Branch of the Chicago River.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-biz-bridge-goose-islan...

Genoa, Italy bridge collapse kills dozens
Posted August 14, 2018

This isn't in the U.S., but it's major bridge news. A busy motorway bridge in Genoa, Italy collapsed today during a thunderstorm, killing "dozens". This story is still developing, so follow the media for details. An eyewitness report said that lightning hit one of the towers, and then it fell.

Story, including video of the bridge collapsing: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-45183624

Follow this story as it develops. We may learn more about the reports of repairs being underway at the time (Echoes of I-35W), and the original design of the bridge.

Posted July 29, 2018

I just added that log bridge, with photos. I also linked it to this bridge as being "Downstream".

Posted July 29, 2018

I just visited here. Not quite sure how to catagorize this structure. It appears to be part dam and part low-water crossing. The water level in the Mississippi River downstream of this structure is definitely lower than the water level of Lake Itasca, so it is certainly holding the water of Lake Itasca back. You can see that in the photos I just added. We can laugh as intrepid tourists hop barefoot from stone to stone, but this structure is actually fairly significant for controlling the water level of the lake and its flow into the river and eventually into the Gulf of Mexico.

You've got to love the "street view" which is from the river. Apparently Google put its street view camera in a canoe, and went quite a distance downstream.

Posted July 28, 2018

There is indeed a troll under this bridge, one of the more famous bridge trolls anywhere. This troll is a notable Seattle landmark. You can see it in one of the street views.

Posted June 18, 2018

104 year old bridge is listed for sale - but only for a couple of weeks. This looks like another City of Chicago gambit to circumvent Section 106 as fast as possible, just like with the nearby Division Street Bridge, right now! Demolition of this historic structure is likely very soon.

https://chicago.cbslocal.com/2018/06/18/chicago-aven8e-bridg...

Why couldn't the City just maintain it, instead?

Posted May 1, 2018

Construction has started to rebuild this bridge. According to a City of Chicago press release, "The replacement structure will maintain the existing bridge’s historic architectural style while providing modern lighting and drainage and meet modern ADA standards." We'll see. https://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/mayor/press_room...

The bridge will remain open to vehicular and pedestrian traffic during construction by doing it one half at a time.

Posted April 25, 2018

So, now that this incident is down to lawsuits and NTSB investigations, what next? There is clearly a need for a bridge at this location. FIU students are being killed crossing busy US 41.

I assume they will not simply try again to build this failed design. That would be a travesty, and a dishonor to the 6 who lost their lives here.

I do like Nathan Holth's idea of moving and rehabilitating the remains of the historic Drew Bridge. It might actually fit into this space with its big center pier, which could be located between the road and the canal. Or there may be another historic bridge available for reuse, such as Indiana's 9-span Bridge. Such an historic bridge could be an interesting classroom for FIU engineering students.

Or simply build a more conventional steel through truss bridge. The requirements of the site dictate a through truss, those being clearance requirements above the road, along with a desire to minimize how many stairs pedestrians would have to climb. This part of the original design was correct - it was to have been a through truss to meet these basic requirements. However, successful concrete truss bridges are rare, perhaps for a reason.

If no available historic bridge can be found, build a new steel through truss, but build it deliberately to be a classroom, with ready connectors and power outlets for stress monitors and other instrumentation, so the engineering students could learn how to use these tools on a real bridge. Make the deck to be inside the truss webs, so that the bottom chord is easily visible. (Example: rehabbed Chatham Street Bridge in Blue Island IL.) If they would like to make it a bit fancier than a simple Warren truss, it could be a Baltimore, Pennsylvania, or Lattice truss with their interesting geometry. Those are designs intended to carry heavy trains, which could minimize sway from people walking across. A conventional steel truss bridge would be easy and safe to build using "accelerated bridge construction" techniques. Such a replacement bridge could be both a memorial to the 6 fatalities, and a classroom for the future bridge builders at FIU.

A bridge is clearly needed here. The lawsuits and NTSB investigations are "water under the bridge". It's time to start thinking about the new bridge.

Posted April 16, 2018

Nice review in today's New York Times of a graphic novel/comic book entitled “The Bridge: How the Roeblings Connected Brooklyn to New York.” which is about to be published. I look forward to buying a copy.

Here's the book review in NYT: "Building the Brooklyn Bridge, in Graphic Detail" https://nyti.ms/2H1pCLp

Posted March 17, 2018

This historic bridge, a Miami-Dade landmark, could become redundant after the completion of the FIU-Sweetwater University City Bridge, on the other side of 109th Avenue from this bridge. However the collapse of that new bridge during construction will prolong the need for this bridge, likely for quite a while.

Posted March 17, 2018

I am at a bit of a loss to categorize this bridge type from the artist's rendering of the completed bridge. (Regardless of its collapse.) I think it may be primarily a truss bridge, with the cable stays there only for reinforcement in case of a Category 5 hurricane, which it had been designed to withstand. If so, what kind of truss is it? I guessed "Warren with all verticals" but I could be wrong on that. It's kind of half of a Pratt. Each panel is different.

Posted February 20, 2018

Nice letter to the editor in today's Chicago Tribune from a local resident who's sorry to see it go. http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/letters/ct-libert...

Photos of the bridge in the print edition of the paper.

Posted February 1, 2018

Possibly doomed, as being a chokepoint on a badly overburdened stretch of I-80. The website below outlines preliminary plans to widen the road, which almost certainly will involve replacing this bridge. Also, it has suffered a bit from 50 years of pounding by an endless stream of big trucks.

http://i-80will.com/overview.html

Arlington Memorial Bridge (District of Columbia)
Posted December 4, 2017

Department of the Interior announces contract to repair bridge. This will replace the Strauss bascule span with a similar-looking fixed steel span. It hasn't been opened for a boat since 1961.

https://www.doi.gov/pressreleases/under-budget-ahead-schedul...

Posted November 21, 2017

I asked a docent at the Archway Monument about the history of the bridge, like perhaps where it was originally. The answer was surprisingly vague. "It was found in a scrap yard in one of those 'I' states back east, I don't know if it was Indiana or Iowa. [Could also be Illinois or Idaho...] Perhaps Iowa - don't they have a lot of bridges in Madison County? It was brought here in 2005."

I'm glad they saved it from scrapping, but this is unsatisfying. We know this nice old bridge was built somewhere by Canton Bridge Company in 1914, but we don't know where. Considering it was found in a scrap yard in some 'I' state, we may never know where. At least it is now preserved. I really wish they'd stop incorrectly calling it a suspension bridge.