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 

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
Wolf Creek Bridge (Fayette County, West Virginia)
Steel stringer bridge over Wolf Creek on Fayette Station Br
November 6, 2017: Updated by Roger Deschner: Added photos; bridge is closed for reconstruction
Wolf Creek Bridge (Fayette County, West Virginia)
Steel stringer bridge over Wolf Creek on Fayette Station Br
November 6, 2017: Updated by Roger Deschner: Bridge is closed for reconstruction
Wolf Creek Bridge (Fayette County, West Virginia)
Steel stringer bridge over Wolf Creek on Fayette Station Br
November 6, 2017: New photo
CSX - Hawk's Nest Bridge (Fayette County, West Virginia)
Parker through truss bridge over New River
November 6, 2017: New photo
Winona North Channel Bridge (Winona County, Minnesota)
Concrete stringer bridge over North Channel Mississippi River on MN 43/WI 54
October 30, 2017: New Street View added
Fayette Station Bridge (Fayette County, West Virginia)
Through truss bridge over New River on CR 82
October 30, 2017: Updated by Roger Deschner: Noted that direction of 1-way traffic is southbound
Winona Bridge (new) (Winona County, Minnesota)
Concrete deck box girder bridge over Mississippi River on westbound MN 43
October 17, 2017: Updated by Roger Deschner: Bridge is entirely in Minnesota. Removed mention of Wisconsin.
Winona Bridge (new) (Winona County, Minnesota)
Concrete deck box girder bridge over Mississippi River on westbound MN 43
October 17, 2017: Updated by Roger Deschner: Bridge is entirely in Monnesota. Removed mention of Wisconsin.
Winona Bridge (Winona County, Minnesota)
Through truss bridge over Mississippi River on MN 43 in Winona
October 17, 2017: Updated by Roger Deschner: Bridge is entirely in Minnesota. Removed mention of Wisconsin.
Winona North Channel Bridge (Winona County, Minnesota)
Concrete stringer bridge over North Channel Mississippi River on MN 43/WI 54
October 17, 2017: Added
John A. Latsch Wagon Bridge (Winona County, Minnesota)
Concrete arch bridge over North Channel Mississippi River on Old Duke Road in Winona
October 8, 2017: Updated by Roger Deschner: Added Description, changed type to open-spandrel, renamed to official name
I-35W - Saint Anthony Falls Bridge (Hennepin County, Minnesota)
Beam bridge over Mississippi River, city streets and railroad on I 35W
August 24, 2017: New photo

Recent Comments 

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.

Posted November 11, 2017

So, what's my deal with all these bridges in Winona MN? I've passed through three times in the past year, and each time I find another fascinating current or historical bridge. This bridge is one of the most interesting, with a complicated history and good written and photographic records. I'm sure there's yet more to find when I make it back to this picturesque old river town. Which I plan to do when the rehab of the 1942 highway bridge is complete in 2018.

Posted November 6, 2017

Was this bridge rehabilitated, or was it completely remanufactured in 1997? The NPS ranger at the US 19 bridge overlook called it a "replica" bridge. I just visited this bridge, and I was amazed that nearly all rivets had been replaced with bolts - giving its built-up latticework a very bumpy appearance. Some parts are definitely original, such as the main upper and lower chords. However some members, such as eyebars, look very smooth and new. But I have to wonder, how much of it is actually original, other than the design?

BTW after 20 years, the 1997 wooden deck is definitely deteriorating.

If visiting, stop first at the NPS US 19 bridge overlook to pick up a free CD guided tour of Fayette Station Road.

Posted September 18, 2017

Closed for repairs until October 31, 2017. Traffic rerouted to 95th Street Bridge on a poorly-marked detour.

Are pairs one or two bridges?
Posted July 10, 2017

I do not see any consistency here for handling pairs of one-way bridges or tunnels. Usually they are handled as one, but in some cases they are handled separately, such as the Eisenhower and Johnson tunnels on I-70 in Colorado or the Winona MN bridges over the Mississippi. I'm looking for guidance here.

Posted July 10, 2017

When I am driving down a highway, and I see a sign "LOAD ZONED BRIDGE AHEAD" on a side road, that's an invitation to explore. Though I was hoping for a nice, picturesque, old truss, what I found on Krchnak Road near Smithville TX was unusual enough to be notable. You just don't see too many recycled flatcar bridges, and this one was made from two flatcars welded together lengthwise to form a wide enough roadway. The two guys fishing said they didn't know of any others like it in the area.