Rating:
1 vote

Big Cut Road Bridge

Photos 

Photo taken by Stephan Parsons

Enlarge

BH Photo #296993

Map 

Description 

Bridge is built out of a recycled railroad truss

Facts 

Overview
Pony truss bridge over BNSF Railroad on Big Cut Road, 3 mi. southwest of Mt Carroll
Location
Carroll County, Illinois
Status
Closed as of at least February 2018
History
Built 1924
Railroads
- BNSF Railway (BNSF)
- Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad (CBQ)
Design
Pratt pony truss
Dimensions
Length of largest span: 73.2 ft.
Total length: 193.8 ft.
Deck width: 12.1 ft.
Approximate latitude, longitude
+42.05082, -90.03657   (decimal degrees)
42°03'03" N, 90°02'12" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/745240/4659668 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Wacker
Average daily traffic (as of 2006)
25
Inventory numbers
IL 008-9912 (Illinois bridge number)
BH 15047 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection report (as of February 2012)
Overall condition: Fair
Superstructure condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Deck condition rating: Very Good (8 out of 9)
Sufficiency rating: 49.5 (out of 100)
View more at BridgeReports.com

Update Log 

  • June 21, 2019: New photos from John Marvig
  • April 21, 2019: Updated by Mike Kerkau: Updated status per comments
  • June 10, 2015: Updated by Royce and Bobette Haley: design-to do list
  • March 18, 2015: New photos from Steve Conro
  • October 2, 2014: New photo from Luke

Sources 

  • Luke
  • Steve Conro - sconro [at] yahoo [dot] com
  • Royce and Bobette Haley - roycehaley111 [at] yahoo [dot] com
  • Mike Kerkau - mjkerkau [at] gmail [dot] com
  • John Marvig - marvigj27 [at] gmail [dot] com

Comments 

Big Cut Road Bridge
Posted April 24, 2019, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

I've made that same comment before CV!

Let's both get one and then we can tag team the bigger ones... And do twice as many smalls!

Big Cut Road Bridge
Posted April 24, 2019, by Clark Vance (cvance [at] dogmail [dot] com)

I need someone to buy me a Chinook as a retirement gift....

Big Cut Road Bridge
Posted April 23, 2019, by John Marvig

I agree. While $20k isnít a huge investment, it is still a significant investment. Wonder how much a short span like this would be worth to Savanna, a city which clearly values its railroad heritage.

More research on the truss needs to be done. It appears it may date to the mid to late 1890s, which would make sense considering the 1924 NBI date. Perhaps finding some cool historical information on the bridge would also make preserving it an idea that someone with money would be more willing to consider.

Big Cut Road Bridge
Posted April 22, 2019, by Julie Bowers (jbowerz1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

'That' hard. The hard part isn't the actual craftwork.

That costs about 20k or more to pull with equipment, labor, transportation, mobilization. Tree removal too.

Money saves bridges.

Big Cut Road Bridge
Posted April 22, 2019, by John Marvig

I would think this would be a salvageable one. The original railroad floor was removed and a wood one installed. Short span, canít imagine it would be *that* hard to move.

Big Cut Road Bridge
Posted April 22, 2019, by Mike Daffron (daffmikron [at] gmail [dot] com)

Save the Ponies!!

Big Cut Road Bridge
Posted April 21, 2019, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

The pony is a definite keeper!

Big Cut Road Bridge
Posted April 21, 2019, by John Marvig (marvigj27 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Unfortunately, this bridge was closed in 2018. The approaches are in poor condition, and the listed as not eligible for the National Register. I'm curious about the truss though, clearly was built of railroad parts. I wonder if this historic pony truss could be a good candidate for a small bridge.

Big Cut Road Bridge
Posted February 22, 2019, by John Marvig (marvigj27 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Looked further into this bridge, found no mention of closure, but did find meeting minutes about the closure of a nearby overpass around February 2018:

http://bridgehunter.com/il/carroll/ideal-rd/

Hope this bridge is not in danger. This pony truss clearly appears to be a unique structure and an example of a dying breed bridges featuring creative reuses of railroad spans.

Big Cut Road Bridge
Posted February 27, 2018, by Clark Vance (cvance [at] dogmail [dot] com)

The eyebars look big enough for a railroad bridge.

Big Cut Road Bridge
Posted February 27, 2018, by Luke

It was probably built here 1924, after being retired from railroad service.

This was not an uncommon practice with railroads. For example the Chicago & Northwestern's Pre-1898 Squaw Creek Bridge ( https://bridgehunter.com/ia/story/cnw-squaw-creek )in Ames was reused on two local crossings:

https://bridgehunter.com/ia/boone/77860/

https://bridgehunter.com/ia/boone/77840/

Big Cut Road Bridge
Posted February 27, 2018, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

This is a very interesting little bridge and I suspect that it was built much earlier than 1924. I would guess that it was built circa 1900, but perhaps anytime between roughly 1890 and roughly 1910.

I suspect that it was probably moved here in 1924. Bridges that were built in the 1920s would be more likely to be riveted instead of pin connected.

Big Cut Road Bridge
Posted February 27, 2018, by Tom Robbins (tmrobbins [at] comcast [dot] net)

I found this bridge closed to vehicle traffic on 2/26/2018. Barricades appeared to be fairly new and clean. Am trying to determine if the bridge will be repaired or demolished. Big Cut Road sees little usage, so suspect the latter.

Big Cut Road Bridge
Posted March 20, 2014, by Tom Robbins (tmrobbins [at] comcast [dot] net)

A wonderful old bridge, but I can't help but wonder how long it will remain in use. A link to a photo taken in October, 2011 - http://www.pbase.com/image/140641242/original

Big Cut Road Bridge
Posted March 12, 2008, by Stephan Parsons (scfarm [at] netins [dot] net)

The deck planking is in poor condition, but the materials for repair seem to to be stockpiled near the span when I passed over the bridge March 9, 2008. The bridge spans a deep railroad cut, and is a beautiful combination of steel span and wooden railings and planking.