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Big Vermillion River Bridge


Overview of Bridge

Milo Ketchum


BH Photo #155385



This bridge was given as an example of a modern highway bridge in the 1920 edition of "The Design of Highway Bridges", by Milo Ketchum.


Pennsylvania through truss bridge over Vermilion River near Oglesby
LaSalle County, Illinois
Lost, replaced with new bridge
Built ca 1915, replaced 1960
224-foot, pin-connected 14-panel Pennsylvania through truss with four 45-foot through concrete girder approaches. All spans had an 18-foot wide concrete deck.
Length of largest span: 224.0 ft.
Deck width: 18.0 ft.
Approximate latitude, longitude
+41.31329, -89.06646   (decimal degrees)
41°18'48" N, 89°03'59" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
16/327027/4575596 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
La Salle
Inventory number
BH 44159 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • June 4, 2013: Updated by Luke Harden: Added category "Concrete inset railing"
  • March 27, 2013: New photos from Gene Smania
  • March 27, 2013: New photos from Luke Harden
  • January 27, 2012: Updated by Steve Conro: Added GPS of original location
  • February 24, 2010: Updated by Wes Kinsler: added to mystery catagory
  • February 17, 2010: Added by Wes Kinsler



Big Vermillion River Bridge
Posted June 5, 2013, by Clark Vance (cvance [at] dogmail [dot] com)

That's a bit over five 64,000# trucks. Pretty hard to cram on this bridge but remotely possible--considering some of the foolish choices truckers have made that brought down other bridges.

Big Vermillion Bridge Bridge
Posted June 4, 2013, by Anonymous

I crunched the numbers from the cut sheet and came up with a live load capacity of 165.28 tons. I was surprised it was so high. Does that sound right?

Big Vermillion Bridge Bridge
Posted March 27, 2013, by Rick (silverfox13_21 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

I stopped by here the other day and looks like they might have did a road alignment sometime. the bridge in the pictures looks to be located several hundred feet south of the bridge now used today. the paved and gaurdrails are still standing on it on the east end and is very overgrown with trees, the westend has been leveled and now has houses built there.

next time will have my camera to take some pics

Big Vermillion Bridge
Posted March 7, 2011, by Gene Smania

These are photos taken by Art Kistler for IDOT in 1924 and 1959.

Big Vermillion Bridge
Posted March 7, 2011, by Gene Smania

The structure was over the Vermilion River an the route now designated Illinois 71, just east of Jonesville, La Salle County, Illinois. It was replaced about 1960 and again about 2004. The Vermilion River enters the Illinois River just a short distance north of this bridge--the Vermilion flows north. It crossed the CB&Q RR and a spur track at the west end. The spur served the shipping dock for the Marquette Cement Co (now Lonestar) and remnants of the dock are still visible. The CB&Q crossed the Illinois River further north and that lift bridge (formerly a swing span) was removed in 1980. The west embankment for the newest bridge is built across the abandoned RR ROW. A later article in the local newspaper stated the bridge this one replaced was dismantled and re-assembled across the Vermilion River upstream near Oglesby.