18 votes

Bolivia Road Bridge


Photo taken by Dale Travis


BH Photo #152775

Street View 


Unusually elaborate portal decorations. The pony truss approach span has had two bents added under the two joints. It appears the truss is no longer carrying any load. This bridge has made the "Top Ten Most Endangered Structures of Illinois" list


Parker through truss bridge over Sangamon River on Bolivia Road (TR 518)
Sangamon County, Illinois, and Christian County, Illinois
Intact but closed to all traffic
Future prospects
Slated for demolition and replacement with a slab of concrete.
Built 1901 at a cost of $8,000 dollars by J.T. Garrett and St Louis Bridge and Iron Co.
- J.T. Garrett
- J.T. Garrett of St. Louis, proprietor of the St Louis Bridge and Iron Co.
- St Louis Bridge and Iron Co.
- St. Louis Bridge & Iron Co. of St. Louis, Missouri
Pin-connected Parker through truss main span.
Single pin-connected Half-hip Pratt pony approach span.
19 additional stringer approach spans on the north.
Single stringer approach span on the south.
Length of largest span: 180.0 ft.
Total length: 621.9 ft.
Deck width: 15.1 ft.
Vertical clearance above deck: 14.0 ft.
Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on January 28, 2004
Also called
Lanesville Bridge
Bolivar Road Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+39.76751, -89.34545   (decimal degrees)
39°46'03" N, 89°20'44" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
16/299105/4404584 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Mount Auburn
Average daily traffic (as of 2017)
Inventory numbers
IL 084-3214 (Illinois bridge number)
NRHP 03001464 (National Register of Historic Places reference number)
BH 15644 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection report (as of April 2017)
Overall condition: Poor
Superstructure condition rating: Poor (4 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Poor (4 out of 9)
Deck condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Sufficiency rating: 26.5 (out of 100)
View more at BridgeReports.com

Update Log 

  • July 24, 2022: Updated by Elliott Johnson: Added information found in NRHP archives
  • May 23, 2018: New photos from Dino Strunk
  • March 22, 2015: New photo from Elliott Johnson
  • March 19, 2015: Updated by Elliott Johnson: bridge closed following vehicle damage
  • July 6, 2012: Updated by Fmiser: Updated types, added description.
  • June 28, 2012: New photos from Fmiser
  • March 15, 2011: New Street View added by K. A. Erickson
  • March 15, 2011: Updated by Nathan Holth: This bridge is now doomed.
  • April 18, 2010: Updated by Nathan Holth: Updated bridge type.
  • April 17, 2010: New photos from Robert Stephenson
  • March 14, 2010: Updated by Robert Stephenson: Street view


  • Dale Travis - djtravis [at] dalejtravis [dot] com
  • Robert Stephenson - seinfeld99 [at] yahoo [dot] com
  • Nathan Holth
  • K. A. Erickson
  • Fmiser - fmiser [at] gmail [dot] com
  • Elliott Johnson - elliottsgon15 [at] hotmail [dot] com
  • Dino Strunk


Bolivia Road Bridge
Posted July 25, 2022, by Nathan Holth (webmaster [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

re: Elliott:

This bridge is feasible to restore by a company like Bach Steel. As you note, the trick is finding funding. Most states use Transportation Alternatives grants for such projects. One other possibility would be if a trail or park being developed that needs a bridge already is to simply choose to use this bridge instead of a modern mail order bridge.

Bolivia Road Bridge
Posted July 24, 2022, by Elliott Johnson (elliottsgon15 [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Hey @James Baughn/Nathan Holth, I had an idea for this bridge while watching this awesome documentary on YouTube about the piano bridge in Fayette County, Texas. I think the Bolivia would benefit greatly by a visit from the restoration crew that were was used out of Michigan. This bridge is absolutely a state icon and definitely deserves a new life. whether it's preserved for pedestrians since one concern about the Bolivia is that it couldn't be crossed by some emergency services due to height/weight issues. It could definitely be bypassed by the count(ies). the next step would be securing financing for the project from federal, state, township, or whichever county is claiming ownership of the bridge currently. Any thoughts guys?


Bolivia Road Bridge
Posted December 12, 2021, by Gary Butler (pawneekid22 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Visited today 12-12-21 Awesome place to see

Bolivia Road Bridge
Posted September 26, 2021, by Art S. (Asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)

Beautiful photo Emma.


Art S.

Bolivia Road Bridge
Posted September 25, 2021, by Emma Williams (ewilliams16805 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

visited 9/22/2021

still closed off to traffic.

Bolivia Road Bridge
Posted October 30, 2018, by Conner Fox (taifox84 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Just found this site and I was just there today. It's got permanent barricades at either end but it's still up. October 30, 2018

Bolivia Road Bridge
Posted April 2, 2015, by John (johnsjunk11 [at] hushmail [dot] com)

Well they finally got their excuse to close it for good.

Bolivia Road Bridge
Posted April 1, 2015, by ArtS (asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)
Bolivia Road Bridge
Posted March 22, 2015, by Elliott Johnson (elliottsgon15 [at] hotmail [dot] com)

a pickup truck damaged the guardrail on one of the north approach spans and will have the bridge closed until further notice.


Bolivia Road Bridge
Posted July 28, 2013, by Brandi (baggybritches05 [at] hotmail [dot] com)

The bridge is still there and it tact. Drove over it with my brother twice today

Bolivia Road Bridge
Posted May 28, 2012, by Dale Travis (djtravis [at] dalejtravis [dot] com)

The bridge is still there May 27, 2012. It looks much the same as it when I was there Nov 9, 2007. My photos are at www.dalejtravis.com/interest/bridge/oldiron/htm/05556.htm.

Bolivia Road Bridge
Posted April 26, 2011, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

Epic Failure: http://www.illinoistimes.com/Springfield/article-8571-the-br... The writer of this article demonstrates what happens when someone rambles on about something they know absolutely nothing about. This writer implies the bridge is common based on a 1983 survey, where probably 60% or more bridges have been demolished. Writer fails to acknowledge historic integrity and ornate portal design giving bridge great beauty. Writer completely unaware that bridges can be reused for pedestrian use for similar or less than cost of new bridge, saving money not wasting it.

Bolivia Road Bridge Named to 10 Most Endangered list
Posted April 6, 2011, by Richard Sklenar (sklenarrj [at] yahoo [dot] com)

Landmarks Illinois has today named this bridge as one of the ten most endangered landmarks in Illinois.


Bolivia Road Bridge
Posted March 15, 2011, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)


The people who made the map were simply looking ahead to the demolition which is currently planned for this bridge.

Bolivia Road Bridge
Posted March 6, 2011, by Anthony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

They make it sound like a moratorium..... as of last year the bridge was still there.

Bolivia Road Bridge
Posted March 6, 2011, by Andrew Jankowski (andyj [at] hometel [dot] com)

This bridge is featured on the cover of the Illinois Official Highway Map 2001-2002, with the inside fold caption reading: "This historic bridge crossed the Sangamon River near Bolivia in eastern Sangamon County." Photograph credit given to Roger McCredie, IDOT.