4 votes

Wauponsee Glacial Trail - Kankakee River Bridge



Photo taken by James McCray


BH Photo #217793


Pratt through truss bridge over Kankakee River on Wauponsee Glacial Trail (formerly Wabash, later N&W, then NS Railway)
Custer Park, Will County, Illinois
Open to pedestrians
Original 598' iron truss bridge (4 spans @ 150') built 1880; rebuilt 1902 with this bridge (built by Wisconsin Bridge & Iron); 1968 derailment in a unknown year damaged the easternmost truss span, and was replaced with a pony plate girder.
- Wisconsin Bridge & Iron Co. of Milwaukee, Wisconsin
- Norfolk & Western Railway (NW)
- Wabash Railroad (WAB)
Pratt through truss
Length of largest span: 137.6 ft.
Total length: 600.0 ft.
Deck width: 17.3 ft.
Vertical clearance above deck: 30.0 ft.
Also called
Wabash Railroad Bridge #1145
Approximate latitude, longitude
+41.24571, -88.12765   (decimal degrees)
41°14'45" N, 88°07'40" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
16/405515/4566646 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Inventory number
BH 47611 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • June 22, 2022: New photos from John Marvig
  • March 14, 2022: New photos from John Marvig
  • January 5, 2021: Updated by Luke: Added derailment date
  • November 10, 2019: New photos from Steve Conro
  • January 13, 2019: New photo from Melissa Brand-Welch
  • June 15, 2015: New photos from John Marvig
  • January 10, 2015: New photo from Luke
  • December 17, 2014: Updated by James Holzmeier: Updated history
  • October 26, 2014: Updated by James Holzmeier: Added bridge dimensions and a comment & image regarding the collapse of one of the spans. Also added Wabash RR line drawing of the bridge.
  • October 25, 2014: New photo from James Holzmeier
  • January 5, 2013: Updated by Clark Vance: Date from portal photo
  • January 5, 2013: Added by Robert Thompson
  • October 17, 2011: Updated by J.P.: added builder and year built
  • October 16, 2011: New photos from James McCray
  • January 11, 2011: Updated by David Backlin: Added railroad name
  • January 11, 2011: Added by James McCray

Related Bridges 



Wauponsee Glacial Trail - Kankakee River Bridge 1912
Posted November 13, 2019, by dan (dbutzirus [at] gmail [dot] com)

I scanned this postcard for you

Attachment #1 (image/x-ms-bmp; 20,852,390 bytes)

Wauponsee Glacial Trail - Kankakee River Bridge
Posted October 26, 2014, by James Holzmeier (wabashry [at] gmail [dot] com)

The bridge span collapse we think might've occurred in 1970 or 1971. The train was carrying a load of government brass (either to or from the Joliet Arsenal, perhaps?) which ended up in the Kankakee. GIs were sent to guard the site until the brass could be recovered. James Holzmeier, Wabash RR Hist. Soc.

Wauponsee Glacial Trail Bridge
Posted January 5, 2013, by Clark Vance (cvance [at] dogmail [dot] com)

Hint of a wreck in 1968. Perhaps some of the N&W railfans could provide details.

Info on Gretz:


Wauponsee Glacial Trail Bridge
Posted January 11, 2011, by David Backlin (us71 [at] cox [dot] net)

Big Maps has a very nice view of this bridge:


Click on Bird's Eye view