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Sangamon Valley Trail - Spring Creek Bridge


Photo taken by Steve Conro in March 2015


BH Photo #320198



This bridge was part of an abandoned segment of the St. Louis, Peoria and North Western Railway, later consolidated into the Chicago and North Western Railroad. It was constructed in 1911-1913 with $10.0 million in capital raised by the Chicago and North Western Railway to haul coal from Macoupin County mines operated by the Superior Coal Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Chicago and Northwestern. The six Macoupin coal mines served by the St. Louis, Peoria and Northwestern yielded an estimated 2.0 million tons of coal annually, almost all of which was burned by the Chicago and North Western in its steam railway operations.

3-Concrete "Arches"
1-116' Secondhand Lattice Truss from Geneva, Illinois (Built 1883, Re-Erected 1921)
2-85' Deck Girder (Built 1921)
1-60' Deck Girder (Built 1913 as main span, moved in structure 1921)


Lattice deck truss bridge over Spring Creek on Sangamon Valley Trail (Rail-Trail)
Sangamon County, Illinois
Open to pedestrians only
Truss built 1883 in Geneva, Illinois; Original Bridge Built 1913, Bridge Rebuilt 1919-1921; Converted to trail 2011
- Chicago & North Western Railway (CNW)
- St. Louis, Peoria & North Western Railway (StLP&NW)
1 lattice deck truss, three girder spans, and additional approach spans.
Length of largest span: 116.0 ft.
Total length: 352.0 ft.
Also called
C&NW Bridge #1863
Approximate latitude, longitude
+39.81263, -89.71132   (decimal degrees)
39°48'45" N, 89°42'41" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
16/267915/4410478 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Springfield West
Inventory number
BH 45592 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • October 1, 2018: Updated by John Marvig: Added information from blueprints
  • March 30, 2015: New photos from Steve Conro
  • January 12, 2012: Updated by Steve Conro: Changed status and added railway history
  • July 6, 2010: Added by Nathan Holth

Related Bridges 



Sangamon Valley Trail - Spring Creek Bridge
Posted April 20, 2021, by Tim (springfieldbridges [at] gmail [dot] com)

This bridge was repurposed and opened to pedestrians in July 2011 as part of the Sangamon Valley Trail.

Sangamon Valley Trail - Spring Creek Bridge
Posted March 8, 2019, by Tim (springfieldbridges [at] gmail [dot] com)

the truss originally came from this bridge: https://bridgehunter.com/il/kane/bh83009/

Sangamon Valley Trail - Spring Creek Bridge
Posted October 1, 2018, by John Marvig (marvigj27 [at] gmail [dot] com)

I've been provided blueprints for this bridge, which contain some really great construction notes. In these, the truss was mentioned to be a secondhand span from the Fox River Bridge at Geneva, Illinois.

Sangamon Valley Trail - Spring Creek Bridge
Posted February 26, 2018, by John Marvig (marvigj27 [at] gmail [dot] com)

I suspect this truss is older than 1918. While researching at the C&NWHS, I found that the deck girders and slabs were built in 1918, but no indication of the truss. Even further, the truss likely outdates the construction date of the rail line (1913)

Sangamon Valley Trail Bridge #14
Posted July 6, 2010, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

Attached are drawings from the bid package to construct a rail-trail. They show an impressive lattice deck truss!