1 vote

Possum Trot Bridge


BH Photo #185739


When built, this was known as the Kistler Hill Cutoff. It bypassed a bridge built in 1921 at Kistler Hill, which was downstream on the Danville-Urbana brick road. (Kistler Hill is also now known as Oak Hill). In January of 1927, a truck with a heavy load of coal headed for Danville lost control on the west side of Kistler Hill and went through the railing of the Kistler Hill bridge. Four days later, a sedan driven by a Toledo, Ohio man struck the end post of the bridge and caused it to slip from the abutments into the river. Engineers believed that the earlier incident with the coal truck had weakened the bridge. The road was barricaded and traffic was rerouted through Catlin to Danville. With pressure from the eastern Illinois division of the Chicago Motor Club, the state agreed to build a temporary bridge. Danville merchants had complained that traffic rerouted through Catlin was costing them money and customers. The temporary bridge was completed and opened to traffic March 9, 1927. In the meantime, the state agreed that a cutoff was needed that would eliminate the steep Kistler and Mills hills and several sharp curves on the old road.


Lost Through truss bridge over Middle Fork Vermilion River on Route 150
Vermilion County, Illinois
Replaced by new bridge
Built 1928, replaced in 1976
- R. McCalman Construction (Concrete piers and abutments)
- Vincennes Bridge Co. of Vincennes, Indiana (Steelwork)
Parker through truss with Pratt through truss approach
Also called
Salt Kettle Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+40.11719, -87.72638   (decimal degrees)
40°07'02" N, 87°43'35" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
16/438102/4441017 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Danville SW
Inventory number
BH 46915 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • February 19, 2014: New photo from Mike Roegner
  • April 17, 2011: Updated by Mike Roegner: Modified description
  • March 24, 2011: New Street View added by Jason Smith
  • March 23, 2011: New photo from Mike Roegner
  • March 21, 2011: Updated by Mike Roegner: Added build year and contractors
  • November 11, 2010: New photo from Mike Roegner
  • November 10, 2010: Added by Mike Roegner


  • Mike Roegner
  • Jason Smith - flensburg [dot] bridgehunter [dot] av [at] googlemail [dot] com


Possum Trot Bridge
Posted December 13, 2013, by H George Friedman (friedman [at] cs [dot] uiuc [dot] edu)

Ah, ok, I see it. Thanks, guys!

I'm attaching two Charles Able photos of the IT bridge, one showing the relation among the three bridges. That one is dated 3/31/1951; the other, of the IT bridge only, is 5/19/1951. If someone wants to set up a display on the IT bridge, feel free; please give credit to my collection and to Charles Able as photog.

Possum Trot Bridge
Posted December 12, 2013, by Fmiser (fmiser [at] gmail [dot] com)

I can see pratt-parker-pratt in both photos.

I can't see the sway braces in the second photo to see if they match. The railing seem to match.

Conclusion - I think there is high probability it is the same bridge as I don't see anything that _does_not_ match.

Possum Trot Bridge
Posted December 12, 2013, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Actually, the first picture shows one of the Pratt approach spans while the second shows the main Parker truss span.

Possum Trot Bridge
Posted December 12, 2013, by H George Friedman (friedman [at] cs [dot] uiuc [dot] edu)

The two pictures do not seem to be the same bridge. The superstructure is quite different.

Possum Trot Bridge
Posted March 23, 2011, by Mike Roegner (roegner [at] soltec [dot] net)

No, I've seen photos of it, but I don't have any in my collection of pics. By this time (1950's) it was a timber pile bridge, but I think the original 1903 bridge was a truss bridge. I remember reading an article about the opening of the line, and they said that "falsework was ready to be removed from the bridge at Possum Trot" Don't think they use falsework with pile bridges. Also, back in the 1910's and 20's there were several floods on the Middle Fork and it was mentioned that officials were afraid the bridge might have been moved by the water.

Possum Trot Bridge
Posted March 23, 2011, by Jacob P. Bernard (jacob_bernard [at] yahoo [dot] com)

Do you possibly have any more pictures of the Illinois Terminal bridge parallel to this one?