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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Black Hawk Bridge at sunset

Black Hawk Bridge (Allamakee County, Iowa)

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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 

Winona Bridge (new) (Winona County, Minnesota)
Concrete deck box girder bridge over Mississippi River on westbound MN 43
October 6, 2019: Updated by Roger Deschner: Now carrying only westbound traffic
Winona Bridge (Winona County, Minnesota)
Through truss bridge over Mississippi River on MN 43 in Winona
October 6, 2019: Updated by Roger Deschner: Bridge reopened to traffic July 1, 2019
Division Street Bridge (Cook County, Illinois)
Bascule bridge over Chicago River North Branch Canal on Division Street in Chicago
September 30, 2019: New video
US 90 Cibolo Creek Bridge (Bexar County, Texas)
Through truss bridge over Cibolo Creek on I-10 North Frontage Road (old US 90) in Zuehl
September 22, 2019: Updated by Roger Deschner: Bridge renamed for US 90, for which it was originally built, and which it still serves as a frontage road for the I-10/US-90 freeway
US 90 Cibolo Creek Bridge (Bexar County, Texas)
Through truss bridge over Cibolo Creek on I-10 North Frontage Road (old US 90) in Zuehl
September 22, 2019: Updated by Roger Deschner: Added category "US 90"
I-10 San Jacinto River Bridge (Harris County, Texas)
Bridge over San Jacinto River on Interstate 10
September 22, 2019: Updated by Roger Deschner: Added bridge, with photo and video
I-10 San Jacinto River Bridge (Harris County, Texas)
Bridge over San Jacinto River on Interstate 10
September 22, 2019: New photo
I-10 San Jacinto River Bridge (Harris County, Texas)
Bridge over San Jacinto River on Interstate 10
September 22, 2019: New video
I-10 San Jacinto River Bridge (Harris County, Texas)
Bridge over San Jacinto River on Interstate 10
September 22, 2019: Added
Brownville Bridge (Nemaha County, Nebraska)
Through truss bridge over the Missouri River on US 136 in Brownville
July 28, 2019: Updated by Roger Deschner: Bridge closed, due to flood-damaged approach road
Riverside Drive Bridge (Boulder County, Colorado)
Concrete stringer bridge over Cave Creek on Riverside Drive (current CR 103, former SH 72)
July 20, 2019: New photos
Riverside Drive Bridge (Boulder County, Colorado)
Concrete stringer bridge over Cave Creek on Riverside Drive (current CR 103, former SH 72)
July 19, 2019: New photos
Riverside Drive Bridge (Boulder County, Colorado)
Concrete stringer bridge over Cave Creek on Riverside Drive (current CR 103, former SH 72)
July 19, 2019: Added
Old James Creek Bridge (Boulder County, Colorado)
Concrete stringer bridge over James Creek on Old SR 72
July 19, 2019: Updated by Roger Deschner: Added photos; bridge is actually open, though very lightly used.
Old James Creek Bridge (Boulder County, Colorado)
Concrete stringer bridge over James Creek on Old SR 72
July 19, 2019: New photos
Hell's Gate Bridge (Calhoun County, Alabama)
Pratt through truss bridge over Choccolocco Creek on Boiling Spring Road in Oxford
July 19, 2019: Updated by Roger Deschner: Added category "Haunted"
Peaceful Valley Road Bridge (Boulder County, Colorado)
Concrete stringer bridge over Middle Saint Vrain Creek on Peaceful Valley Road (current CR 103, former CO 72)
July 18, 2019: Updated by Roger Deschner: Added with photos
Peaceful Valley Road Bridge (Boulder County, Colorado)
Concrete stringer bridge over Middle Saint Vrain Creek on Peaceful Valley Road (current CR 103, former CO 72)
July 18, 2019: New photo
Peaceful Valley Road Bridge (Boulder County, Colorado)
Concrete stringer bridge over Middle Saint Vrain Creek on Peaceful Valley Road (current CR 103, former CO 72)
July 18, 2019: Added
Black Hawk Bridge (Allamakee County, Iowa)
Three-span cantilevered through truss bridge over the Mississippi River, Front Street, and DM&E Railroad on WI 82 at Lansing
July 4, 2019: New photos
Black Hawk Bridge (Allamakee County, Iowa)
Three-span cantilevered through truss bridge over the Mississippi River, Front Street, and DM&E Railroad on WI 82 at Lansing
July 3, 2019: New photos
Black Hawk Bridge (Allamakee County, Iowa)
Three-span cantilevered through truss bridge over the Mississippi River, Front Street, and DM&E Railroad on WI 82 at Lansing
July 3, 2019: Updated by Roger Deschner: Added category "Dakota, Minnesota, & Eastern Railroad"
Eagle Point Park Promenade Bridge (Dubuque County, Iowa)
Bridge over Southern Gate Road on Group picnic pavilion
July 3, 2019: New photos
Eagle Point Park Promenade Bridge (Dubuque County, Iowa)
Bridge over Southern Gate Road on Group picnic pavilion
July 3, 2019: Added
Little Miami River Bridge (Greene County, Ohio)
Lost Bridge over Little Miami River on Fairgrounds Road
May 30, 2019: Updated by Roger Deschner: Added category "Destroyed by collision"
BNSF - Missouri River High Bridge (Burleigh County, North Dakota)
Pennsylvania through truss bridge over Missouri River on BNSF Railway
May 30, 2019: Updated by Roger Deschner: Listed by National Trust for Historic Preservation
Silver Bridge (Gallia County, Ohio)
Lost eyebar suspension bridge over the Ohio River on US 35 between Point Pleasant, WV, and Kanauga, OH
April 14, 2019: New video
CN - Clark Street Bridge (Cook County, Illinois)
Pony/through plate girder bridge over Clark Street on Canadian National Railway
April 14, 2019: Updated by Roger Deschner: Add photos, description, categories
CN - Clark Street Bridge (Cook County, Illinois)
Pony/through plate girder bridge over Clark Street on Canadian National Railway
April 14, 2019: New photo
CN - Clark Street Bridge (Cook County, Illinois)
Pony/through plate girder bridge over Clark Street on Canadian National Railway
April 14, 2019: Updated by Roger Deschner: Added categories "Amtrak", "St. Charles Air Line Railroad"
CN - Dearborn Street Bridge (Cook County, Illinois)
Pony/through plate girder bridge over Dearborn Street on Canadian National Railway
April 14, 2019: Updated by Roger Deschner: New photos, description, categories
CN - Dearborn Street Bridge (Cook County, Illinois)
Pony/through plate girder bridge over Dearborn Street on Canadian National Railway
April 14, 2019: New photos
CN - Dearborn Street Bridge (Cook County, Illinois)
Pony/through plate girder bridge over Dearborn Street on Canadian National Railway
April 14, 2019: Updated by Roger Deschner: Add photos, description, categories
CN - Dearborn Street Bridge (Cook County, Illinois)
Pony/through plate girder bridge over Dearborn Street on Canadian National Railway
April 14, 2019: Updated by Roger Deschner: Added categories "St. Charles Air Line Railroad", "Amtrak"
CN - State Street Bridge (Cook County, Illinois)
Pony/through plate girder bridge over State Street on Canadian National Railway
April 14, 2019: Updated by Roger Deschner: Added photos, categories, description
CN - State Street Bridge (Cook County, Illinois)
Pony/through plate girder bridge over State Street on Canadian National Railway
April 14, 2019: New photos
CN - State Street Bridge (Cook County, Illinois)
Pony/through plate girder bridge over State Street on Canadian National Railway
April 14, 2019: Updated by Roger Deschner: Added categories "Amtrak", "St. Charles Air Line Railroad"
CN - Wabash-Michigan Alley Bridge (Cook County, Illinois)
Deck plate girder bridge over Alleyway between Wabash Avenue and Michigan Avenue on Canadian National Railway
April 14, 2019: New photos
CN - Wabash-Michigan Alley Bridge (Cook County, Illinois)
Deck plate girder bridge over Alleyway between Wabash Avenue and Michigan Avenue on Canadian National Railway
April 13, 2019: Added
CN - Bridge #2.14 (Cook County, Illinois)
Deck plate girder bridge over Alleyway on Canadian National Railway
April 13, 2019: Updated by Roger Deschner: Added Description, categories
CN - Bridge #2.14 (Cook County, Illinois)
Deck plate girder bridge over Alleyway on Canadian National Railway
April 13, 2019: Updated by Roger Deschner: Added categories "Amtrak", "St. Charles Air Line Railroad"
CN - Wabash Avenue Bridge (Cook County, Illinois)
Pony/through plate girder bridge over Wabash Avenue on Canadian National Railway
April 13, 2019: Updated by Roger Deschner: Added photos, Description, categories
CN - Wabash Avenue Bridge (Cook County, Illinois)
Pony/through plate girder bridge over Wabash Avenue on Canadian National Railway
April 13, 2019: New photos
CN - Wabash Avenue Bridge (Cook County, Illinois)
Pony/through plate girder bridge over Wabash Avenue on Canadian National Railway
April 13, 2019: Updated by Roger Deschner: Added categories "Amtrak", "St. Charles Air Line Railroad"
CN - Indiana Avenue Bridge (Cook County, Illinois)
Pony/through plate girder bridge over Indiana Ave on CNRR
April 13, 2019: Updated by Roger Deschner: Added photos, description; renamed bridge to stadnard format
CN - Indiana Avenue Bridge (Cook County, Illinois)
Pony/through plate girder bridge over Indiana Ave on CNRR
April 13, 2019: New photos
CN - Indiana Avenue Bridge (Cook County, Illinois)
Pony/through plate girder bridge over Indiana Ave on CNRR
April 13, 2019: Updated by Roger Deschner: Added categories "Amtrak", "St. Charles Air Line Railroad", "Illinois Central Railroad"
CN - Michigan Avenue Bridge (Cook County, Illinois)
Pony/through plate girder bridge over Michigan Avenue on Canadian National Railway
April 13, 2019: Updated by Roger Deschner: New photos, Description
CN - Michigan Avenue Bridge (Cook County, Illinois)
Pony/through plate girder bridge over Michigan Avenue on Canadian National Railway
April 13, 2019: New photos
CN - Michigan Avenue Bridge (Cook County, Illinois)
Pony/through plate girder bridge over Michigan Avenue on Canadian National Railway
April 13, 2019: Updated by Roger Deschner: Added Description, and City

Recent Comments 

Winona Bridge (Minnesota)
Posted October 6, 2019

The bridge was reopened with appropriate pomp and ceremony on July 1, 2019. Article: https://www.postbulletin.com/news/local/winona-bridge-is-bac...

This has got to be a big win-win for both historic bridge preservation and infrastructure upgrades, proving that the concept of reusing the historic bridge as half of a one-way couplet is valid and working, with some compromises like losing parts of the approach spans to keep it within budget.

Taiwan arch bridge collapses
Posted October 1, 2019

An arch/cable suspension bridge over a harbor in Taiwan collapsed earlier today. Several people injured, and an oil tanker truck that fell on fishing boats burst into flames. From the video, it looks like a hanger cable broke loose from the deck, and it turned out to be "fracture critical". There had been a typhoon in the area a couple of days before, though the weather was clear when the collapse happened. There has been speculation that the storm weakened the bridge.

CNN got the two best live videos of the collapse as it happened. https://www.cnn.com/videos/world/2019/10/01/taiwan-nanfangao... These videos will certainly be important in determining why it collapsed.

Posted September 30, 2019

Demolition of this bridge is underway now. I'm glad I was able to photograph it back in April.

State Street underneath it is closed to traffic until October 5, 2019. I have not heard how rail traffic is affected.

Posted September 22, 2019

This bridge has been closed twice in the past year due to barge collisions. Perhaps there is some kind of navigation problem here.

Posted July 28, 2019

Temporarily closed due to flood damage to US-136 on Missouri side in 2019 Missouri River flood. No mention of damage to the bridge itself, so it's probably OK. A local I talked to, who was using a flooded road as a makeshift boat ramp, said that US-136 on the Missouri side was "all tore up". Closest bypasses are US-34 or US-36.

This photo is from the Nebraska side.

Posted July 4, 2019

Having said this threatened bridge was one of my favorites, I figured I had to upload my own best photos of it.

Even though it crosses the state line in the middle of the river, it appears from the highway signs at its west end, that the state of Iowa considers the whole bridge to be route WI-82.

Winona Bridge (Minnesota)
Posted June 20, 2019

I was just in Winona. The project is nearing completion - with a significant improvement.

The only part of the approach spans that has been replaced is the westernmost portion, which I believe was originally steel stringer. The deck truss portions of both approach spans appear to have been preserved and rehabilitated, along with the main through truss span. On the west, the two highest deck truss approach spans, and the entire deck truss east approach, have been kept and rehabilitated. Though the westernmost section is now a UCEB, at least the new bents have a similar form to the rest of the original bridge. This should be regarded overall as a win.

This bridge will reopen soon to eastbound one-way traffic. A 78 year old steel truss bridge, renewed for another 78 years. I bet it outlasts the new concrete box girder bridge parallel to it.

Posted June 12, 2019

WI 82 has been reopened across the bottomlands approaching this bridge from the east, per https://511wi.gov/

The Black Hawk Bridge is one of my favorites, especially among Mississippi River spans. Up there with the Eads, Dubuque, both Huey Longs, and the sadly lost Savanna-Sabula bridges. How does a cantilever bridge work? Just look at the Black Hawk Bridge - it's quite obvious.

Posted May 30, 2019

National Trust for Historic Preservation has named this bridge on its "11 Most Endangered Historic Places for 2019". You can see the list, a photo of the bridge, and a link to a petition to save the bridge, at https://savingplaces.org/stories/11-most-endangered-historic...

This is a great honor for those working to preserve this landmark bridge, as they continue to fight to save it.

Posted May 24, 2019

Darwin award: "2 Texas men die trying to jump car over open drawbridge" It was this bridge.

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/2-texas-men-die-trying-...

Posted May 20, 2019

Westbound span has been partially reopened. Two lanes open at morning rush hour, one lane at all other times, while repair work proceeds. It is load-restricted.

https://www.modot.org/node/8213

Amazing. This modern bridge is only 35 years old, and it's falling apart. Meanwhile the older Mississippi River bridges in the St. Louis area continue to last with careful routine maintenance - Eads, Martin Luther King, even the unliked Poplar Street Bridge is older and has stood up better.

Perhaps tied arches should be considered to have short lifetimes? I note that the tied arch I-280 bridge (built 1970) over the Mississippi at the Quad Cities had its condition downgraded to "3-Serious" for superstructure.

Posted May 20, 2019

The illegal scrapper is trying to get away with it in court. He's a common thief who deserves jail time.

https://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/post-tribune/ct-ptb-h...

Posted April 13, 2019

All of the 120 year old bridges of the St. Charles Air Line are scheduled for replacement in 2019, including this one. But this is the one that will be the most painful loss, due to its highly attractive decorative elements. It's also in relatively good condition, compared to the others, and could be fixed rather than replaced.

Posted April 1, 2019

Bridge is doomed because a contract has been let to rebuild the whole interchange.

The bents on this 60 year old bridge are of a distinctive style, different from later concrete beam bridges. It's also interesting that this bridge consists entirely of beams. There is no deck between beams, just beams laid right next to one another.

The July 2018 inspection report is interesting, pointing out a tree growing from a bent cap. It contains a cautionary note about removing it to prevent concrete splitting. So I wonder if that tree had anything to do with this beam collapse? The report contains lots of good photos of a bridge that is actually now historic, and doomed, as well as damaged.

https://WRCB.images.worldnow.com/library/52d21583-4388-4f82-... (This is a pdf.)

Posted February 20, 2019

I live in the area, and cross this bridge from time to time. It has certainly been in the news lately, especially after the Lake Shore Drive bridge partial collapse two weeks ago. As bad as its structural condition is, it is perhaps worse functionally - it's a huge bottleneck. It carries 10,000 trucks per day, a reason for both its physical condition, and its traffic congestion.

What is needed is a 4-bridge solution. Build two new bridges on either side of the existing bridges. Divert all traffic to them and totally rehabilitate the old bridges. With no traffic on them, this could be done really well. When done, keep the two new bridges as service/feeder/collector roads to keep the local traffic off the main roadway, and eliminate a couple of suicide merges approaching the bridges. The existing bridges are each already 3 lanes wide, which will be adequate for the mainline once the bad merges and local traffic are diverted to the new service road bridges.

A phased 4-bridge approach like this could both solve the traffic issues here, and preserve the historic but inadequate and crumbling bridges. This would be a win-win, compared to the proposed solution to tear down the existing bridges and replace them with new, wider bridges. This isn't just any road, it's Interstate 80. Complete replacement would be as bad as a failure - several years of a devastating regional and transcontinental traffic nightmare.