2 votes

CSX - Johns Manville/Caterpillar Spur I&M Canal Bridge


I&m Canal swing bridge. Terry Rd bridge in parallel just beyond.

Photo taken by Steve Conro in January 2012


BH Photo #223001



What a surprise upon visiting this previously listed "stringer" bridge to find it was actually an original canal period swing bridge. It looks like it was hand operated with a gear shaft system from both ends to the center. This dates it to when the canal was still in use. Built after 1910.


Old Railroad Swing bridge over I&M Canal on CSX RR Industial Spur
Joliet, Will County, Illinois
Seldom Used
Built 1911
- American Bridge Co. of New York
- CSX Railroad (CSX)
- Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad (CRIP (1866-1920); RI (1920-1975) ROCK (1975-1980))
Deck Plate swing bridge
Total length: 140.0 ft.
Also called
RI - Johns Manville/Caterpillar Spur I&M Canal Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+41.49505, -88.13958   (decimal degrees)
41°29'42" N, 88°08'22" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
16/404879/4594341 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Inventory number
BH 50118 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • July 7, 2019: Updated by Luke: Added builder from HAER
  • July 7, 2019: Updated by John Marvig: Added Build Date from HAER
  • January 6, 2019: Updated by John Marvig: Updated owner, build date based on plaque
  • February 28, 2012: Updated by Steve Conro: Added category "Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad"
  • January 7, 2012: Updated by Steve Conro: Changed to swing bridge, added photos and info.
  • November 10, 2011: Updated by Steve Conro: Status info per Daniel Hopkins

Related Bridges 



Iowa Interstate Spur I&M Canal Bridge
Posted January 7, 2012, by Steve Conro (sconro [at] yahoo [dot] com)

Upon visiting this bridge to photograph it I found a nice surprise that its an original canal swing bridge. This makes it part of the I&M Canal National Heritage Corridor, so it belongs to the National Park System. So even if the factory business dries up its future is secure.

Iowa Interstate Spur I&M Canal Bridge
Posted November 11, 2011, by Daniel Hopkins (chimera [at] clovermail [dot] net)

This bridge is the only real way from the local industry park to the mainline, however in recent years the factories and warehouses that managed it either fallen into disuse or trucking has replaced the trains.

If you look at the main cut off where the first switch is (before crossing the bridge from the north) you will see three separate tracks branching off to the nearby facility. I do not know what that places ships but I know they often use the bridge tracks to 'pull' a few cars out and adjoin them to a north-bound train.

Either way from my understanding this bridge gets about 1 train a month, thus the use is 'seldom' but if the industry park dries up in the south or anything else I feel the bridge is doomed.