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 

"The General" Bridge (Lane County, Oregon)
Lost Timber stringer bridge over Row River on Film Railroad; built to be destroyed.
March 20, 2019: Updated by Roger Deschner: Added alternate bridge name from within movie, "Rock River Bridge".
"The General" Bridge (Lane County, Oregon)
Lost Timber stringer bridge over Row River on Film Railroad; built to be destroyed.
March 17, 2019: Updated by Roger Deschner: Replaced old copy pf "The General" removed from YouTube with a good new one.
"The General" Bridge (Lane County, Oregon)
Lost Timber stringer bridge over Row River on Film Railroad; built to be destroyed.
March 17, 2019: New video
US 281 Niobrara River Bridge (Holt County, Nebraska)
Lost Steel stringer bridge over Niobrara River on US 281
March 17, 2019: Updated by Roger Deschner: Destroyed by flooding
US 281 Niobrara River Bridge (Holt County, Nebraska)
Lost Steel stringer bridge over Niobrara River on US 281
March 17, 2019: Photo imported
US 281 Niobrara River Bridge (Holt County, Nebraska)
Lost Steel stringer bridge over Niobrara River on US 281
March 17, 2019: Added
Lincoln Park Passerelle (Cook County, Illinois)
Through arch bridge over N Lake Shore Dr in Chicago
January 31, 2019: Updated by Roger Deschner: Video added; this brdge is NR-contributing, not NR-listed
Lincoln Park Passerelle (Cook County, Illinois)
Through arch bridge over N Lake Shore Dr in Chicago
January 31, 2019: New video
Stone Bridge (Boone County, Iowa)
Stone arch bridge over Pease Creek on trail
December 31, 2018: Updated by Roger Deschner: Corrected spelling of waterway under bridge to "Peas Creek" per Google and USGS maps
Antelope Hill Low Water Crossing (Yuma County, Arizona)
Low water crossing across Gila River on Roll Road
December 21, 2018: Added
Antelope Hill Highway Bridge (Yuma County, Arizona)
Abandoned concrete deck girder bridge over Gila River on Ocean to Ocean Highway
December 21, 2018: Updated by Roger Deschner: Add Description, photo, link to NRHP Nomination
Antelope Hill Highway Bridge (Yuma County, Arizona)
Abandoned concrete deck girder bridge over Gila River on Ocean to Ocean Highway
December 21, 2018: New photo
Silver Bridge (Gallia County, Ohio)
Lost eyebar suspension bridge over the Ohio River on US 35 between Point Pleasant, WV, and Kanauga, OH
December 10, 2018: New photos
Silver Bridge (Gallia County, Ohio)
Lost eyebar suspension bridge over the Ohio River on US 35 between Point Pleasant, WV, and Kanauga, OH
December 10, 2018: Updated by Roger Deschner: Added category "Painted silver"
Silver Memorial Bridge (Mason County, West Virginia)
Through truss bridge over Ohio River on US 35 in Point Pleasant
December 10, 2018: New photo
Silver Memorial Bridge (Mason County, West Virginia)
Through truss bridge over Ohio River on US 35 in Point Pleasant
December 10, 2018: Updated by Roger Deschner: Added category "Painted silver"
Ford City Drive Overpass (Cook County, Illinois)
Concrete frame bridge over S. Pulaski Road (Crawford Avenue) on Ford City Drive (W. 77th St., Keller Dr.) in Chicago
December 10, 2018: New photos
Staten Island Ferry (Richmond County, New York)
Ferry across New York Harbor on pedestrian route
November 25, 2018: Updated by Roger Deschner: Added category "Painted International Orange"
Silver Memorial Bridge (Mason County, West Virginia)
Through truss bridge over Ohio River on US 35 in Point Pleasant
November 25, 2018: Photo imported
RM2900-Llano River/Lake LBJ Bridge (Llano County, Texas)
Stringer bridge over Llano River/Lake Lbj on Rm 2900
October 17, 2018: New video
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

Recent Comments 

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.

Posted February 12, 2019

This bridge has been reopened thanks to temporary shoring holding up the cracked girders.

It turns out 2 out of 7 girders had broken at a badly corroded expansion joint. The weather the week before of 23 degrees below zero, followed by 60 degrees above, probably made the expansion joints move more than usual. But due to corrosion, they couldn't slide as well as designed, so instead the (also corroded) beams broke. This is pretty easy to see in the copyrighted newspaper photo linked to in my previous posting.

It was discovered by a city crew replacing traffic signal light bulbs. They saw it, knew it was not good, and called the engineers. They may have saved lives.

What is also apparent in the numerous photos of this incident, is that the concrete piers holding up this roadway are also badly deteriorated, with serious spalling exposing rebar to the elements. Poor maintenance! The failed approach span was built in 1986, much too recently for this kind of deterioration and failure. This whole affair had nothing to do with the original 1938 bascule bridge itself - it was all on the 1986 south approach span.

Makes me wonder if we're going to see more late 20th century bridges begin to fail, as they age much more quickly than older bridges.

Posted February 11, 2019

All upper deck northbound lanes of this bridge have been closed due to "Incident with structure damage". A steel beam has cracked and failed in the south approach span, which was built in 1983.

Photo of damage in newspaper article: https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-met-la...

Posted December 21, 2018

C. Hanchey's nice photos led me to investigate further, discovering this bridge's fascinating history in the NRHP Nomination form. It appears that this was just a poor place to build a bridge due to repeated flooding and course changes of the river. The parallel modern road crosses the Gila River via a low water crossing, not a bridge.

Posted December 15, 2018

This was welcome news when I heard about it on the radio last night and read about it in the newspaper this morning. Jail is a good place for this dastardly thief.

All I can say is that I am thankful for Nathan Holth's excellent photo documentation of this distinctive bridge. Link under "Sources". This incident should inspire us all to take more pictures of historic bridges, because they could be gone someday.

Posted December 10, 2018

There's a lot of interesting material available online now, about the Silver Bridge Disaster. More than just Mothman. I have added links in "Sources" to Open University courses about the Silver Bridge and its demise.

Posted December 10, 2018

Local artists in Point Pleasant WV are painting a section of the Ohio River floodwall to make it look like the bridge is still there, complete with a period car driving on it about to arrive in Point Pleasant. It's really quite an illusion!

Another piece of the bridge can be seen at a state rest area about 1 mile north of the bridge site on OH-7.

Posted December 10, 2018

Photos 8, 9, and 10 are of a different bridge, the Bartow Jones Bridge (BH41918), not this bridge.

Posted December 10, 2018

Actually an interesting bridge, even though it carries very little traffic today compared to when it was built in 1944. NR eligible due to association with World War II. Retains very good historical integrity, with very little maintenance having been performed. The roadway Ford City Drive (a.k.a. Keller Drive or 77th Street) is a minefield of bone-jarring potholes, which may be one reason it carries so little traffic. The state report cites a number of statistics about it, some of which like crashes will get worse when this bridge is eventually demolished and replaced with a longer left-turn lane at a stop light. A better solution for this historic structure would be to repair the spalling concrete and fix the potholes. That would improve safety, especially for Daley College students who use it for access to a main parking lot.

Posted November 25, 2018

This is a nice discussion of bridge lighting, but the Silver Memorial Bridge carrying US 35 across the Ohio River is not lit. I am typing this in a motel room overlooking this nice cantilever truss bridge, and except for normal streetlights shining down at the roadway, it is dark.

BTW a favorite lighted bridge is the possibly doomed Blackhawk Bridge over the Mississippi River between Iowa and Wisconsin.

St. Charles Airline - Some Bridges to be Replaced
Posted October 17, 2018

CN RR is about to begin reconstruction of the St. Charles Airline, currently used by both Amtrak and freight trains to traverse Chicago's South Loop. Note that this investment means that the St. Charles Airline itself will likely be around for quite a bit longer. The 99-year old bascule bridge over the Chicago River (http://bridgehunter.com/il/cook/st-charles-air-line/) and the remarkably long clear-span Indiana Avenue bridge (http://bridgehunter.com/il/cook/bh70163/) are not included on the list of replacements. But we'll lose some other very old, notable plate girder bridges. Next time I take my camera out for a drive, I'll try to document the bridges at Michigan, Wabash, State, Dearborn, and Clark before they're torn down.

From the South Loop Neighbors Newsletter (Chicago):

St. Charles Air Line to be rebuilt

Canadian National Railroad is about to begin reconstruction of the St. Charles Air Line (the railroad that runs through the South Loop at 1530 S). They'll be replacing overpasses built for four tracks at Michigan, Wabash, State, Dearborn, and Clark with new single-track spans that don't need any pillars within the street ROW. The centerline of the single remaining track will be moved to the north slightly in order to ease the curves at either end a tiny bit. All bridges except Dearborn will be Cor-Ten steel. The decorative ironwork at Michigan will be saved and-possibly-donated to someone who wants it.

Nothing will be done with the now-unused portion of the ROW, south of the active tracks, and the unused abutments will remain. Utility work will begin this winter, with most work being finished in 2019. The project includes moving the westbound control point to just north of McCormick Place, meaning trains will no longer idle next to Dearborn Tower waiting long periods of time for clearance to cross the Metra Rock Island tracks.

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.