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Ellsworth Park Footbridge


Foot Bridge at Ellsworth Park

Photo shows one of the four spans


BH Photo #185585


Brief History 

Written by Mike Roegner

1907 was a time when several upgrading projects were being done to Ellsworth Park. Along with new grandstands and a Horse racing park, the city council desired to upgrade the foot bridge across the North Fork from a cable bridge to a steel bridge. On July 20, 1907, the city council received the following bids for a new bridge:
James Gaynor - $5,869.46
Paris Bridge Co. - $3,582.00
Lafayette Engineering Co. - 5,568.00
Decatur Bridge Co. - $5,600.00

The news article reports that almost all of the bids contained varying amounts of extra work that would be done, and were contingent on water being let out of the Beard dam to make the pier work easier.
At the July 27th meeting, before the report on the bids was made, a new bid was received from James Gaynor for $5,525.00, agreeing to finish the work in 60 days. The bid was accepted, though not before Alderman Smith objected saying the arrangement was an injustice to the other bidders. The fact that the city wanted the work done quickly was the overriding factor. By all accounts the work was completed on time.

On July 24, 1964 at about 4 p.m., the end of the west span of the bridge collapsed off the abutment. The city did an inspection of the remaining spans and determined that the bridge should be removed. On July 28th the council was authorized to advertise for bids. The only bid received was from O&M construction for $450. The bridge was removed but the piers were left standing and are used for the current footbridge crossing the river.


Lost Pony truss bridge over North Fork Vermilion River on pedestrian path in Danville
Danville, Vermilion County, Illinois
Replaced by new bridge
Built 1907, replaced in 1964
Warren Pony truss
Length of largest span: 70.0 ft.
Total length: 280.0 ft.
Deck width: 10.0 ft.
Approximate latitude, longitude
+40.12542, -87.63925   (decimal degrees)
40°07'32" N, 87°38'21" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
16/445533/4441874 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Danville NW
Inventory number
BH 46867 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • November 25, 2018: New photo from Melissa Brand-Welch
  • September 20, 2015: New photo from Jacob P. Bernard
  • April 20, 2013: New photo from Jacob P. Bernard
  • December 8, 2010: New photo from Jacob P. Bernard
  • November 11, 2010: Essay added by Mike Roegner
  • November 9, 2010: Added by Mike Roegner

Related Bridges 


  • Mike Roegner
  • Jacob P. Bernard
  • Melissa Brand-Welch - melissabrandwelch [at] msn [dot] com


Ellsworth Park Footbridge
Posted November 9, 2010, by Jacob P. Bernard

The bridge can be seen in this 1920 postcard at the far left.