Searching for Old Bridges in Central Illinois

Discussion in 'Day Trippin'' started by rhino_adv, May 22, 2011.

  1. rhino_adv

    rhino_adv Gnarly Adventurer

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    Mike, Yes, I do know some Ackerson's, infact my brother married one (Jack and Margret's daughter, Dawn). I just move to Armington a little over a year ago, I've lived most my of my life east of Atlanta. My father and uncle owned the motorcycle shop there in Atlanta from 1973 through the late 1980s. They started out with OSSA, LAVERDA, FANTIC, ROCKFORD, HERCULES and got the SUZUKI franchise in 1975.

    I did find the Kappa Iron Bridge in Google Earth. I will try to get up there this weekend and grab some photos and post them here. I havent been to the Green Gables in years, but will stop for a burger and tell Kevin you said hi.

    Brad
    #21
  2. kimzx1000r

    kimzx1000r Been here awhile

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    Awesome thread. I was planning on doing a trip through the state next spring and if you get a route together I will surely ride it! Thanks for doing this.
    #22
  3. alekkas

    alekkas Been here awhile

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    Loving this. Spent the late 80's and early 90's camping at my buddy's trailer on the Mackinaw for what memory serves as several weekends a month for the whole summer. Just north of Carlock, float down several miles setting and baiting the trot lines. Check em at midnight and again at daybreak. Big Cats!

    Being raised a city kid, I learned as much from those guys as the university. Thanks for bringing back the memories.

    Our band, Situation Normal, played bars is most of the towns you guys have mentioned.
    #23
  4. Sidney

    Sidney Adventurer

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    Rhino,

    Are you part of the group that rides out of Eureka once a week all on dirt/DS's? I'm from Bloomington and just bought a '09 KLR650 brand new and been getting miles before heading to Colorado this Friday. Guess I've been by Green Gables & Lake Road Inn a couple times in the last 2 weeks! Haven't stopped since it's too early in my evening rides to stop yet for dinner.

    If you plan a Bridge group ride...let me know and I'll tag along. I'm sure after a week of off road...I'll be jonesing for some dirt/gravel.

    Sidney
    #24
  5. rhino_adv

    rhino_adv Gnarly Adventurer

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    Sidney, I am not one of the group that rides out of Eureka on DS's, but would like to know more about them. If anyone from that group reads this thread please send me a message, Id like to tag along sometime.
    Enjoy your trip to Colorado,and take lots of photos!
    Im heading to Shelby County tomorrow morning to photograph iron bridges, and then to Kappa on Sun or Mon morning to photograph that bridge. If your trip to Colorado falls through, and you (or anyone reading this) want to ride along, Pm me.

    Keep in touch, Brad
    #25
  6. hairsmith

    hairsmith Been here awhile

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    Rhino,,,, WOW you have brought back some memories for me!
    I grew up in Fulton county and lived in Macomb for a few years in the early 1980’s. I have ridden bikes over both the bridges you have posted from over there. The one just north of Bernoditte was the main way in and out of town back then. Did lots of riding and exploring Camp Ellis. The target emplacements were right along rifle road. Some of the buildings were still standing.
    If you get back over that way I have also crossed the bridge that is north west of Bernoditte on what google maps is calling North Tarters Ferry Ln. It may not still be there, is was in bad shape and the road even worse 25 years ago!
    Another steel bridge was in London Mills right in town I have herd that it is still there but only open to foot traffic now.

    Back then there use to also be a ferry still running crossing the Mississippi, some of us would make
    day rides over and cross on the ferry and come back at Keokuk.

    If I can think so some other bridges up that way I will point you to them. I have not been up there in over 20 years though.
    Thanks for the memories !

    Checking here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/London_Mills_Bridge is gone.
    #26
  7. HARDHAT.223

    HARDHAT.223 n00b

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    Hey Brad, I've been thinking about the Kappa bridge I told you about and remembered an important bit of info. That bridge is a railroad bridge. It seems that the years (more than I care to admit) and the beer drinking we did there clouded my memory a little. We did however ride motorcycles on it and I seem to remember a jeep or two...

    There was another old bridge there from a bygone era but I doubt you'd even see evidence of it anymore. There was even an amusement park of sorts down in there back in the day. I used to tend bar in Kappa and the old timers always had the good stories and history. The bars gone and now it's a strip club. Sadly, a lot of those old timers are gone too.

    Have a great ride this weekend and be safe.
    #27
  8. rhino_adv

    rhino_adv Gnarly Adventurer

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    Despite the predicted 110 degree heat index, I left home in S/E Tazewell county and headed south through Logan and Sangamon Counties to the Sangamon/Christian County line. I was looking for the Bolivia Road Bridge. This bridge is the oldest in Illinois to include a Parker through-truss span (named for the engineer C.H. Parker) that still serves vehicular traffic. Connecting the counties of Sangamon and Christian, this single-lane, steel-and-timber bridge was built in 1901. Located 20 miles southeast of Springfield, the Bolivia Road Bridge is one of eight remaining bridges in Illinois utilizing a Parker through-truss. Most others in the state have been replaced by bridges of reinforced concrete. Steel-truss bridges 110 years ago, when this bridge was constructed, were a common bridge type of the time and were known for their strength, relative lightness, and durability. The Bolivia Road Bridge is 622 feet in length and the portal bracings of the bridge display ornamental trim.
    Sadly, In 2001, the Sangamon County Highway Department announced plans to replace it with a new concrete structure. Due to lack of funding, however, the bridge has not yet been demolished and replaced. Local advocates are working with county and state officials to preserve the bridge for cycling and pedestrian use. In the meantime, the bridge continues to deteriorate and may risk closure. This magnificent piece of turn of the century architecture may soon be no more than a side note in the history books. If you want to view it for your self you can at N39°46'03" , W89°20'44"

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    This amazing bridge is over 620 feet long! It is hard to show the size with just photos, so I made a short video clip which I hope will present a better idea of its actual length. I apologise for the poor video quality. I really need a better camera!

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    I traveled 189 miles today and photographed 5 bridges. I will post the others in a few days after I research them.

    Brad
    #28
  9. Jetpilot5

    Jetpilot5 Been here awhile

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    That's very cool, and right in my back yard. I ride the Mt Auburn Blacktop over to Springfield all the time, I'll have to take a little side trip and check that out.

    Hot day for a ride. I did 235 miles just running around and called it quits.

    You've done a great job of finding an interesting topic in an area that doesn't generally offer very good riding.

    Excellent thread!:nod
    #29
  10. alekkas

    alekkas Been here awhile

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    Well Rhino, this thread has inspired me. After looking around on google earth, found this. My wife and I went this morning and walked it. Great way to spend the morning. Great thread and I hope you don't mind this contribution.


    <DT>Millbrook Bridge - 1897 - Pratt through truss

    <DT>Approximate latitude, longitude +41.60674, -88.56190, 41°36'24" N, 88°33'43" W

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    Three spans with two piers. One span is different from the other two. Over the Fox.
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    New Bridge in the back....
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    The upstream side has sustained some unrepaired damage over the years.
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    #30
  11. rhino_adv

    rhino_adv Gnarly Adventurer

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    alekkas,
    I dont mind at all. Its really out of my area anyway. Beautifull bridge!! Thanks for shareing with us.

    brad
    #31
  12. rhino_adv

    rhino_adv Gnarly Adventurer

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    This a follow up the the first post in this thread. It was raining hard when JUNIOR650 and I arrived at this bridge (B1) on May 22nd of this year and I did not take photographs. Today my youngest daughter and I went back to capture some images to share. This is a Pratt through truss bridge (closed to all traffic in 2007) over the Mackinaw River in Tazewell county. Total length: 253.8 ft. with vertical clearance above deck: 18.1 ft. The deck is made of concrete and still in good shape. This bridge can be crossed on two wheels by going around the baracades.

    location:N40°26'21" , W89°34'28"

    Saw this old barn covered in Ivey......
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    Getting close.........
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    Looking to the west......
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    Most of the deck was covered in graffiti........
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    Here is a video clip I took last fall crossing the bridge on my XT600.......
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    #32
  13. rhino_adv

    rhino_adv Gnarly Adventurer

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    kimzx1000r,
    I plan on putting together a route of the bridges. After looking at the placement of the bridges (in google earth) I have photographed and some I have yet to photograph, the route is starting to look like a spiral. I am very familiar with the gravel and twistie black top roads in Logan, Tazwell, Mason and Mclean counties and will include as much as possible. It will likely be next year before this is completed though (winter project).
    #33
  14. stinkyrider

    stinkyrider Been here awhile

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    you didn't burn any of those on your way back did you ?!?
    #34
  15. bwbeck

    bwbeck Been here awhile

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    Great thread keep um coming.
    #35
  16. rhino_adv

    rhino_adv Gnarly Adventurer

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    Here are the photos and information on the rest of the bridges I photographed this past Friday. First up is a Camelback Pratt through truss bridge over Sangamon River on TR 192, 5 mi. north of Mt Auburn. The bridge connects Sangamon and Christian counties in central Illinois. The bridge is 169.9 ft in length and 15.1 ft in width. This bridge was closed to all motor traffic in 2006 and is in very poor condition. The wooden deck is covered in follage with trees growing up around it, in fact I walked past the bridge while looking for it as it is very well camoflaged.

    Location:N39°49'16" , W89°15'08"

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    Next up is a two-span through truss bridge over Sangamon River on TR 171, 2.0 mi. east of Clear Lake in Sangamon county. This bridge was built in 1950 and is still open to traffic, with a total length: 287.0 ft., deck width: 20.3 ft. and vertical clearance above deck: 14.7 ft.

    Location:N39°49'24" , W89°32'39"

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    Off to the next bridge and I see this interesting round barn......
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    Next up is the through truss bridge over Brush Creek on TR 355, 3.5 mi. north of Pawnee. This bridge was build in 1956 with a Total length: 103.0 ft, Deck width: 20.3 ft. and vertical clearance above the concrete deck: 15.5 ft. The bridge is open to traffic.

    Location: N39°38'56" , W89°36'09"

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    The last bridge I photographed on Friday was the Lick Creek Bridge, a pony truss bridge over Lick Creek on TR 176 near Springfield in Sangamon county. The bridge has a total length: 94.1 ft and a deck width: 12.4 ft. The bridge was closed to traffic in Summer 2010. It is possible to get around the baracades and cross the bridge (I did myself).

    Location: N39°42'33" , W89°44'14"

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    Brad




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    #36
  17. kimzx1000r

    kimzx1000r Been here awhile

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    Awesome, I look forward to seeing these. I made a route through Iowa this year and it had many old bridges. I will be working on a route from Northern Il. to Southern Il. for us to do in the spring. We want to get down to the Shawnee and back and if all goes well we will incorporate your route or at least some of it. I want to see your bridges they are awesome. Thanks for working on this one, great pics.
    #37
  18. rhino_adv

    rhino_adv Gnarly Adventurer

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    kimzx1000r;

    I think the best possible route/track of the southern 1/3 of the state has already been mapped out by BigDog. It starts at the Moonshine General Store (home of the moonburger) in Moonshine, Illinois and goes south and then west through the Shawnee National Forrest and ends up at the "Bottoms Up Bar and Grill" in Nunert, Illinois (just North of Grand Tower). BigDog has added many POIs to the route/track. If your interested here is the file: Moonshine.gpx

    Also. If you would like, Id be happy to give you a guided tour of some of the bridges near me when you get down this way. Just give me a few days notice.

    Brad
    #38
  19. kimzx1000r

    kimzx1000r Been here awhile

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    Brad that would be awesome, local tour guides are the best. I will keep you posted. I downloaded bigdogs route. I also have the river to river route. All this should help me. We live in northern Illinois. We try and to a trip every spring and plan a week of camping and riding. Who knows maybe we will do a fall long weekend in your area. Thanks for the replies.

    Kim
    #39
  20. rhino_adv

    rhino_adv Gnarly Adventurer

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    Today I met up with inmates, tripleplay and JUNIOR650 with plans to photograph a couple old iron bridges in Champaign county. The GPS told us to head east on US-136 and then turn south a few miles beyond Heyworth and then back east. We traveled some twisty black top, gravel and even a long streach of grass field road (gps said township road). We came across this sign at the bottom of a small valley right next to a creek.

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    We contuined east towards the first bridge. The Hazen Bridge, also known as the Newcomb Bridge, is a steel bridge spanning the Sangamon River north of Mahomet in Champaign County, Illinois. It was constructed at a location known as White's ford, a popular crossing location of that era because of its proximity to Mahomet and Shiloh Church. The bridge was built in 1893 by Seevers Manufacturing Company of Oskaloosa, Iowa for the bid of $4,985. The name is derived from the Hazen family which owned property adjacent to the crossing. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1994 as structure #94000433. The Hazen Bridge is a Pratt Through Truss desgin with timber flooring, with a length of 288 feet and a height above the deck of 14 feet. The bridge was bypassed in 1993 when a new concrete bridge was built just south of its location.

    Location: N40°15'10", W88°23'01"

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    #40