2 votes

IR - Rockford Rail-Trail Bridge


Overview Looking Southeast

Photo taken by J.R. Manning in July 2011

BH Photo #204645


Five truss spans relocated from Beardstown, Illinois in 1929. Larger truss on east end built 1899, other four trusses built 1889. Deck girders built 1896, and are original to this bridge. Information credit of CB&Q Allen Moore collection - BRHS Archives and Johnmarvigbridges.org


Through truss bridge over Rock River on former Illinois RailNet
Rockford, Winnebago County, Illinois
Open to pedestrians only
Built between 1889 and 1899, Trusses relocated here 1929; Converted to Trail Use 2016
- King Bridge Co. of Cleveland, Ohio
- Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad (CBQ)
- Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific Railroad (MILW)
- Dakota, Minnesota, & Eastern Railroad (DME)
- Illinois Central Railroad (IC; ICG (1972-1988))
- Illinois RailNet (IR)
5 spans of through truss 1 deck plate girder on East end
Length of largest span: 150.0 ft.
Total length: 915.0 ft.
Approximate latitude, longitude
+42.26491, -89.09565   (decimal degrees)
42°15'54" N, 89°05'44" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
16/327161/4681315 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Rockford North
Inventory number
BH 41899 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • October 1, 2021: New photos from Mark Boettcher
  • June 21, 2019: New photos from John Marvig
  • December 18, 2017: Updated by John Marvig: Added Build Date
  • April 11, 2017: New photos from Anthony
  • March 1, 2017: New photos from Anthony
  • February 23, 2017: Updated by Anthony: Updated status to reflect current use.
  • April 3, 2015: Updated by John Marvig: Added information
  • April 3, 2012: Updated by Steve Conro: Corrected railroad name
  • November 23, 2011: New photos from Steve Conro
  • July 20, 2011: New photos from J.R. Manning
  • March 29, 2009: Added by Kim Harvey

Related Bridges 



IR - Rock River Bridge
Posted May 8, 2016, by Anonymous

At the western edge of the Milwaukee Road bridge in Rockford is a rock where a plaque used to be. The base says 1964. Does anyone know what the plaque commemorated?

IR - Rock River Bridge
Posted November 25, 2014, by John Marvig (marvigj27 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Confirmed this line and bridge was Chicago, Milwaukee St. Paul & Pacific, now abandoned awaiting trail development.

IR - Rock River Bridge
Posted May 3, 2014, by Brian (FCVPI99 [at] GMAIL [dot] COM)

this is not a Chicago, Burlington & Quincy ether although Chicago, Burlington & Quincy use it also but it was Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific as per all maps i could find

Rockford CNRR Rock River Bridge
Posted December 1, 2011, by Mike (mschaf4001 [at] earthlink [dot] net)

This is not the Canadian National bridge; the through-truss bridge shown here originally belonged to the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy (later, Burlington Northern). It is currently owned by the Illinois Railway and also used by Canadian PACIFIC's Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern Railraod. This bridge is slated to be closed to rail traffic in 2012, with trains being rerouted around it on the Illinois Central (now CNRR) bridge a short distance to the south.

Side note: The CB&Q through-truss bridge shown here replaced a covered bridge, probably in the late 1800s. Covered railroad bridges were extremely rare in the Midwest.