6 votes

Unknown Bridge


Photo taken by Steve Conro in December 2011


BH Photo #222106



I discovered this bridge hidden in the trees near a parking lot at Hennepin Canal Lock 17 Day use area. Its a few hundred feet from Bridge 9 and the same basic type. Its been separated and the two halves placed back to back with the deck intact. I don't know where it would have come from but a likely suspect might be the original West Bureau Creek Bridge (BH15042) that's only about a mile away. The only evidence against this is at around 70' it might be too short (but if it weren't skewed) and that some of trees growing through it look older than 10 years. That bridge was replaced in 2002. Any other thoughts?


Abandoned pony truss bridge at Hennepin Canal Lock 17 day use area near Wyanet
Bureau County, Illinois
Pratt pony truss
Total length: 70.0 ft.
Approximate latitude, longitude
+41.34632, -89.55886   (decimal degrees)
41°20'47" N, 89°33'32" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
16/285917/4580362 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Inventory number
BH 50611 (Bridgehunter.com ID)


Abandoned (3,756)
Bureau County, Illinois (117)
Illinois (4,777)
Mystery (86)
Pony truss (16,412)
Pratt pony truss (3,704)
Pratt truss (9,510)
Riveted (2,227)
Total length 50-75 feet (9,358)
Truss (33,442)

Update Log 

  • February 7, 2012: Updated by Steve Conro: Added category "mystery"
  • December 19, 2011: Updated by J.P.: Added category "Riveted"
  • December 19, 2011: Added by Steve Conro



Unknown Bridge
Posted May 31, 2012, by John White (4357john [dot] white [at] gmail [dot] com)

I have been bicycling the canal since 1995. I came across this dismembered bridge in 2009 because I was there in early November and was able to see it when I paused at rest area. I got in touch with Steve Moser, Superintendant at the Visitor Center and he said the bridge was from the canal. It had been moved there by the Corps of Engineers. He did not know where it had been originally nor why it had been cut. We theorized it was cut to transport easier. The IDNR assumed control of the canal in 1970, so yes, it has been in the woods for a while.

Unknown Bridge
Posted December 21, 2011, by Steve Conro (sconro [at] yahoo [dot] com)

Nathan you're correct you could be with in 20' of it and not know it in the summer.

Unkown Bridge
Posted December 19, 2011, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Would be a wonderful trail bridge! It literally looks like they took a saw and cut right down the center lengthwise...

The nice lattice endposts suggest that possibly the same builder of the canal through trusses might have manufactured this one as well.

Just hope the scrappers don't find it!!!

Unkown Bridge
Posted December 19, 2011, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

Great find! Looks like you would never find it in the summer with the leaves on the trees?