475+ old bridges in Illinois

Discussion in 'GPS Tracks - Central, Texas & Gulf States' started by rhino_adv, Nov 29, 2011.

  1. rhino_adv

    rhino_adv Gnarly Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2010
    Oddometer:
    632
    Location:
    central Illinois (Bloomington)
    Here is a gpx file of more than 475 old bridges in Illinois. Most of the bridges are old iron structures. Some are concrete or stone arches. A few are simple wooden decks on iron stringers. There are even a few covered bridges. I have visited and photographed many of these old bridges, but not all of them. Some can be crossed and some can not. Most are on public land, but a few are on private property. The majority of these bridges (particularly those in the southern half of the state) can be found on a gravel or dirt road. There can be mud, there are a few water crossing and beautiful scenery.
    Several of these bridges disappear (torn down/wash away/vandalised) every year.

    After the name of the bridge is a code I have given to each one. Example:bolivia rd bridge O-TT= Open Through Truss

    O-PT=open pony truss
    C-PT+closed pony truss
    O-TT=open through truss
    C-TT=closed through truss
    O-SA=open stone arch
    C-SA=closed stone arch
    O-CA=open concrete arch
    C-CA=closed concrete arch
    O-CB=open covered bridge
    C-CB=closed covered bridge
    O-WB=open wooden bridge
    C-WB=closed wooden bridge

    As time permits, I will loop many of the more interesting bridges together with as much gravel and dirt as possible and post the track/route here.
    I hope you enjoy these old structures as much as I do!

    Brad

    Attached Files:

    #1
  2. Jeff@TheQuadShop

    Jeff@TheQuadShop TAT survivor

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2004
    Oddometer:
    4,942
    Location:
    Crestwood, Kentucky
    WOW, and I thought I was doing good finding the only 13 that are left in KY! :eek1
    #2
  3. BigDogAdventures

    BigDogAdventures Fart Letter

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2003
    Oddometer:
    5,148
    Location:
    Mt. Vernon, Illinois
    Brad,

    Thanks so much for the e-mail you sent me with the link to this thread----I'm guessing you heard of my love for old bridges-----after looking at your gps file I'm guessing a hundred of these bridges are within a hundred miles of my house.

    I'm sure I've ran across a lot of them----and I'm sure most I've not. You've made me a very happy man as I can go find and see these bridges on just day or weekend rides from my house in Southern Illinois.

    One of the things that is so neat about a dual-sport or adventure bike---you can have a lot of fun poking around the backroads without traveling to far from home.

    I just can't thank you enough--very nice of you.

    I've got a file of all the covered bridges in Indiana---which I've been to all of them---but I'm bettin' your way ahead of me :D
    Holler if you'd like that.

    Mark

    Here's the closest one to my house---over the Little Wabash River---and yes---it's on your file already.

    Attached Files:

    #3
  4. rhino_adv

    rhino_adv Gnarly Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2010
    Oddometer:
    632
    Location:
    central Illinois (Bloomington)
    Mark, Enjoy the file! There are very few things I enjoy more than to be riding down an unfamiluar gravel/dirt road and come across one of these old treasures! PUTS A SMILE ON MY FACE for the rest of the day.
    I already have your 157 Covered Bridges file in my garmin. Ive been visiting those Indiana bridges for more than 20 years.
    Hopefully our paths will cross sometime, Id love to meet the BigDog!

    Brad
    #4
  5. BigDogAdventures

    BigDogAdventures Fart Letter

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2003
    Oddometer:
    5,148
    Location:
    Mt. Vernon, Illinois
    The cool thing about old bridges-----is that they are always on a remote country road---so as you navigate between them, it's always good riding. And who know what else you'll find on the way.

    I can't wait to start finding the ones I haven't been too. After looking closer-----I have been to more of them than I first thought--but still lots of new ones out there.

    Mark
    BigDog
    #5
  6. kimzx1000r

    kimzx1000r Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2006
    Oddometer:
    529
    Superb! Looking forward to going and seeing some of these first hand in the spring.
    #6
  7. BigDogAdventures

    BigDogAdventures Fart Letter

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2003
    Oddometer:
    5,148
    Location:
    Mt. Vernon, Illinois
    The Huchins Creek bridge on this file is no longer there.
    The picture I included was after a huge flood (about 2 years ago)---we crossed it--but had to jump a small washout--then build rocks for a ramp on one side. After that---someone took the boards off the bridge---and now it is no longer there. It just appears state funds are not there and they are not going to rebuild it.

    Sad for me--as it was on my favorite one lane dirt road in all of Southern Illinois---in which there was a really neat river ford also.

    Now-------you can get around it easily---just to the side of the bridge---but it's private and 2 people that live down in there (crazy people) that I have run into are determined that this road never re-opens---they run off and discourage travel on the road on either side of the bridge. One lady is definitely crazy--a hermit. If you ride down to where the bridge was just to look at it----one of them will run down there with folded arms and stare at you until you leave. It's a public road.

    I sat there with a friend one time for an hour---and they just stared at you.
    I think they are the ones that removed the boards and promoted the whole thing washing away.
    Now they got a few miles of dead road all to themselves--guess who pays for keeping the road in repair ???
    Me and you.

    Once when I was there just to admire the beautiful place---I turned back and the crazy lady took a swing at me and knocked the mirror on my 950 backwards as I was riding.

    Mark

    Attached Files:

    #7
  8. rhino_adv

    rhino_adv Gnarly Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2010
    Oddometer:
    632
    Location:
    central Illinois (Bloomington)
    Mark,....Thanks for the update on the Huchins Creek O-WB. Its sad some of these bridges are not being repaired and left to the rath of mother nature and crazy land owners.
    Since this bridge was on a legal road, I think I'll risk getting asulted by the old lady at the bridge. If BigDog says "it was on my favorite one lane dirt road in all of Southern Illinois". its got to be an awesome road.:lol3

    Brad
    #8
  9. vfrpilot

    vfrpilot Stress Relief Rider

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2006
    Oddometer:
    739
    Location:
    Decatur, Illinois
    Brad,
    Thanks for the GPX file! It'l be good for a lot of exploring! :clap
    #9
  10. BigDogAdventures

    BigDogAdventures Fart Letter

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2003
    Oddometer:
    5,148
    Location:
    Mt. Vernon, Illinois
    I do believe it was Dec. 3rd, 2001 I got my trusty old KLR out and went Northeast of my house in
    Southern Illinois to find some of these bridges on the gps file.


    It was a great day and I rode from sun up---thru sun down and had a ball.
    Found some bridges---found some gone--found some private roads--found some way too muddy roads---like
    I said a great day.
    Got my KLR all muddy----------found some extremely flooded areas.

    I'll post my ride in the next post--and I've put the gps file in with this post.

    About the waypoints---bridges that were gone or replaced----I noted as such.

    Attached Files:

    #10
  11. BigDogAdventures

    BigDogAdventures Fart Letter

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2003
    Oddometer:
    5,148
    Location:
    Mt. Vernon, Illinois
    Follow my track log as you read this--and you'll see just where I am.


    I first went to bridge icg rd2 O-WB which was a wooden bridge over a railroad track.
    I guess I didn't take a picture of it---but after crossing the bridge the road ended very quickly
    at a house on a muddy dirt road---it was their only way to their house------the bridge was in bad shape
    and if it gets closed--they will have no way of getting to their house.

    Next up was skillet fork O-TT

    A really neat old bridge that brought traffic down to one lane.
    Nice to find this one still standing.
    If and when the Illinois economy regains itself---I'm sure they'll tear it down.

    [​IMG]

    Next up was icg3 rd C-WB
    Which was a wooden bridge over the railroad---there were many of these going over this
    same railroad----however after riding a bit thru the mud and tall weeds the bridge was blocked from my side
    and after looking on the other side---it looked like you couldn't even get to it from there.

    [​IMG]

    I tried to get to johnsonville C-PT
    It was down a muddy road that was grown up in trees--and I wouldn't have had to hike to it
    probably on private property to it---------and I didn't.

    Next up on the track log you'll see endsley creek C-PT
    I never saw any kind of a bridge there---there was a tiny creek with a culvert--and
    I guess that was it ??????


    But my favorite find of the day------sycamore creek C-PT

    I went down a road that dead ended at the bridge and creek----I went passed the last house
    and down a very muddy hill-----a big GS would have sunk in the mud------on a dry day it would be fine.

    On the other side of the bridge---the road had gone back to nature pretty much and you'd have
    to hike in from the East side.

    I stayed here awhile----had a snack---a drink---and pondered the bridge.

    Status
    Closed to all traffic
    History
    Built 1909
    Design
    Pony truss
    Dimensions
    Length of largest span: 60.0 ft.
    Total length: 84.0 ft.
    Deck width: 13.5 ft.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Weight limit-------one KLR with a fat old man-----maybe !!!!


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    Another bridge---the Dorsey bridge--on the Little Wabash was gone---and I had wandered down a dead end road
    that was flooded at the end---and into a whole bunch of hunters along the river drinking beer around a campfire.
    I was a little worried as they all glared at me.
    But after I took my helmet off and they saw I was just some fat old man with a smile-- we had a great time talking.
    I finally told them the reason I went down this road was to find an ole bridge.
    They all laughed and pointed to the river---the bridge was gone but you could still see the pilings
    sticking out of the water-------dang it---------I didn't take a picture.
    Before I left they invited me to stay and drink beer and said I could come down here and camp anytime :D:D:D

    I had also tried to see this bridge from a levee on the other side of the river---you can see that in my track log--but
    it was extremely flooded.

    Next up was drainage ditch3 O-PT

    Which was replaced with this horrible concrete structure which just bout made me sad.

    [​IMG]


    Up next tr454 O-PT

    The sun was going down----deer were everywhere---it was getting colder and I had to work
    at finding this one and almost gave up.----but I thought to myself---heck this could be the last time
    I get to ride all winter-----and I had to backtrack quite a bit cause I couldn't get across a drainage ditch
    to find this one---the track log there will confuse you there.

    I was dissapointed at what I found---but proud I had "Endeavored To Persevere" :D:D:D:D:D:D

    It was replaced---but not long ago.
    I don't think that road went thru---but it was way too muddy out there for me to try.
    I think this just serves farmers to get across the drainage ditch.

    [​IMG]

    I had so much fun today---ran my electric vest and heated grips all day.
    My KLR is so much fun to ride and is so dependable---if it ever fails to start I'd expect the world
    to quite turning.



    By the way-----the bridge in this picture with my 950 on it----I tried to get to as it was
    kind of on my way home--but the road to it was under 4
    feet of water. :eek1:eek1:eek1:eek1

    It is bridge grayville O-TT

    Man I hope it didn't wash away-------it's my favorite.
    You can see on the gps track log how close I got to it---I couldn't see it thru the trees--unless it was gone :eek1


    [​IMG]
    #11
  12. dogmoon

    dogmoon Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2009
    Oddometer:
    313
    Location:
    Franklin County MO
    Thanks Mark I enjoyed that I couldnt get out to ride today maybe tomorrow.:clap
    #12
  13. BigDogAdventures

    BigDogAdventures Fart Letter

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2003
    Oddometer:
    5,148
    Location:
    Mt. Vernon, Illinois
    Glad you enjoyed that----tomorrow I'm going for dry fork C-PT which the waypoint info says it's closed----and after google earthing it-----it looks like the road from both sides of it is going back to nature----so I'll hike in to it---take a picture---pee off the bridge----have a snack----a candy bar. And if I don't get arrested for trespassing or shot by a hunter---you'll see the pics tomorrow night :D

    Then Down the creek a ways is bridge dry fork O-PT which according to the waypoint is open to traffic----and after looking at it from google earth---the road looks traveled. No bonus points for this one :ear

    Wish you was over hear Dogmoon-----we could go camping in the rain and throw our tents in the dumpster (private joke). :rofl:rofl:rofl:rofl:rofl

    Might drag out the pig 950 and get stuck in a mudhole.
    Nah---think the KLR will be better. Hard to go back after upgrading:rofl:rofl:rofl:rofl:huh
    And the 250 is too fast for this kind of thing.:deal
    #13
  14. rhino_adv

    rhino_adv Gnarly Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2010
    Oddometer:
    632
    Location:
    central Illinois (Bloomington)
    Mark,....Im glad your getting to find some of these old bridges and posting photos. It is sad to see the sycamore creek C-PT in such sad shape, ill make a point of visiting it next year before it is gone forever.. Good luck with tomorrows bridge hunt and post some more pictures. Hopefully I can get out for a few hours and ride! There are a few bridges with in an hour of home I have yet to photograph.

    Brad
    #14
  15. jped

    jped jped

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2009
    Oddometer:
    60
    Location:
    E. Iowa
    Over railroad tracks on SE Side of town, near Poopy's HD Magnet(lot empty today, 50 degrees). Found this about 1985, not sure when it closed to wheeled traffic.

    Attached Files:

    #15
  16. BigDogAdventures

    BigDogAdventures Fart Letter

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2003
    Oddometer:
    5,148
    Location:
    Mt. Vernon, Illinois
    Really neat bridge jped :D



    I was out an about again all day today.
    Here is my updated gps file---which includes the newer track and my finds.
    There are 2 of my tracks on there now--and they are dated.

    Story to follow.


    BigDog

    Attached Files:

    #16
  17. BigDogAdventures

    BigDogAdventures Fart Letter

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2003
    Oddometer:
    5,148
    Location:
    Mt. Vernon, Illinois
    2nd ride 12-18-11

    Well I was at it again today---finding more old bridges in Illinois.
    It was a cold winter morning in Southern Illinois when I left the house----about 24° BBBBbbbbRRRRrrrr !!!!
    the first bridge is actually the closest one to my house and I had never saw it. Can't believe I'd never been down
    Beethoven road and over the railroad tracks.
    Probably the slickest thing you can ride a motorsickle on is frozen ground barely thawed on top
    from the early morning sun. You can't ride on that stuff---so I didn't.
    I needed the exercise--and after finding Beethoven road new Woodlawn, Illinois I hiked---yes I hiked
    about a 1/2 mile to the bridge in this muck.

    [​IMG]

    I was suppose to find this---a beautiful pony truss bridge over the railroad tracks
    This is an old picture I grabbed off the internet.

    [​IMG]

    But found this-------it was gone.

    [​IMG]

    All was left of the bridge was this pile of timbers on the West side.

    [​IMG]



    And this pile on the East side.
    I think you could get to the old bridge site in dry or frozen weather from either side on your
    motorsickle------------I tried both--------half frozen slick mud.

    [​IMG]



    You never know what you'll find when you go looking for these things---but the waypoints I had loaded made
    it easy (usually) finding them.
    So I set my gps to navigate me to another bridge--and after a dead end road I turned back and crossed this bridge again.
    It was not on my gps----and it was kind of special-------why ?????
    Because I just accidentally found it---and the plaque telling who built it---and when was still on the bridge.
    Built in 1916.

    [​IMG]

    Another thing that made this nice one lane bridge so special ----to me anyway---it was still standing---and in very good condition.
    Think of all the traffic that went over this bridge after almost 100 years---it was almost good as new.

    [​IMG]

    OK---now I'm looking for a bridge on Dog Alley Rd.
    I like the sound of this road--------Ruuuffff.

    [​IMG]

    I don't no if you can see my track very good---but I came in from the East and hit some really bad mud--and
    then went around and came in from the West.

    [​IMG]

    I have to admit I'd been to this bridge before--and have approached it from both directions--but you can't cross the bridge
    on a bike---it is blocked very well. I haven't been here in 5 years and it was in much worse shape than the last time I was here.
    This is bridge "dog alley rd C-PT"

    [​IMG]


    This bridge was built circa 1930

    [​IMG]


    This is the road coming in from the East--which I didn't do today---but had done a few years ago.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Not bad for an "Ole Dog" I guess.

    [​IMG]

    Like any Dog would do-----I peed off the bridge and left my mark.

    [​IMG]



    More to come in a bit
    #17
  18. Solomoriah

    Solomoriah likes the back roads

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2009
    Oddometer:
    395
    Location:
    Upper Right-Hand Corner of Missouri
    That last bridge is a Warren truss; the oldest of those I've seen are around 1925 or so. There are three of them up here on MO 16 between Lewistown and Canton, with at least one of them slated for replacement in the next year.

    Jped, is that bridge still standing? I've been trying without success to find it on Google Earth; bridgehunter.com has no record of it either, and if I can verify the exact location, I'd like to post the picture and description (with your permission of course). It's a truss type I've never seen before... I'm going to have to go look it up.

    EDIT: Found it... it's a Waddell truss, apparently favored by railroads. Thus, possibly erected by the rail company rather than the county or state.
    #18
  19. BigDogAdventures

    BigDogAdventures Fart Letter

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2003
    Oddometer:
    5,148
    Location:
    Mt. Vernon, Illinois
    More 12-18-11

    On my way to the next old bridge on the Kaskaskia river----I turned down this road just North of the very small
    town of Covington--and just North of the Kaskaskia river. HHhhMMmmmmm ???

    [​IMG]

    This next find was just awesome. I approached the bridge, hoping it was there---from the North on a one lane
    dirt road.

    [​IMG]

    Holy Moses----look what I found.

    [​IMG]

    This is bridge "kaskaskia C-TT" on my gps file.
    Meaning---it's closed--and is a through truss.
    And it spans the Kaskaskia river.

    [​IMG]

    I stayed here for a long time looking at this thing. Might be the last time I ever see it---you never know.
    Might be the last time anybody sees it. It was built in the early 1900's.

    [​IMG]

    I was a dead end--but there was this neat little cabin down at the end of the road beside the bridge.
    No one was around----and I'm sure going to the bridge you are not trespassing.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Well-------------I couldn't pee off that bridge !!!! But I did leave my mark.

    [​IMG]

    Next up "grand point C-PT" bridge.

    [​IMG]

    I approached from the West down a dead end muddy road.
    I don't know--but maybe in dry weather you could approach from the East ????

    [​IMG]

    The old bridge was gone---all was left was some twisted steel and a few timbers.

    [​IMG]

    The bridge spans Grand Point Creek.
    It was originally 65 feet long and built in 1915.

    [​IMG]

    I suppose this old piece of steel could tell a lot of stories if it could talk.

    [​IMG]

    I was on my way to a bridge over the dry fork river--and came to a bridge waypoint I had dropped years ago.
    The Gettins Bridge.

    [​IMG]

    I rode thru a lot of water to get to it---I guess I didn't take a picture but I think there was no bridge---just
    a low water crossing that looked to be 6 ft. deep---I turned back.

    [​IMG]

    On my re-route---right where the gps pointer is I came across a closed bridge.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    My garmin Road and Recreations software said this was the Rock Bluff Bridge.
    I'm sure it wasn't the original---if they had left it---it would still be standing !!!!!!
    It was really flooded beyond it---and I would have never gotten thru--so I re-routed again.

    [​IMG]



    More In a bit
    #19
  20. Wolf_ADV

    Wolf_ADV Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 18, 2011
    Oddometer:
    74
    Location:
    Heart of Illinois
    Thanks for posting your bridges !!!!!! very cool .......I have been on a few bridge runs with Rhino........ they are truly a link to the past.....regards mark
    #20