Searching for Old Bridges in Central Illinois

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

  1. DBrentMiller

    DBrentMiller Sojourn Chronicles

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    I just discovered this thread, and could not stop reading until the end. I spent my youth growing up in Pekin, and lived in the area for a few more years after returning from Uncle Sam's calling in 1970. I have canoed down the Mackinaw River. Dated a girl in Tremont. Also lived a couple of years in Manito. My brother has lived in the Lincoln area for about 10 years.

    Many of these small towns are so familiar, and it has been a real treat to follow your back road adventures.

    Thanks.

    Brent
  2. rhino_adv

    rhino_adv Gnarly Adventurer

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    Next up are a few bridges from Coles County. The first is the Stone Quarry Bridge. It is an open for traffic, pin-connected, 12-panel Whipple through truss bridge, built in 1883 by the King Iron Bridge Co. and rehabilitated 2009. The bridge is 240.1 feet long with a deck width of 14.7 ft. and vertical clearance above deck at 14.0 ft.

    location; 39°31'16" N, 88°06'36" W

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    Brad
  3. rhino_adv

    rhino_adv Gnarly Adventurer

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    Brent,

    I am glad you are enjoying this! I am having a ball locating and photographing these old structures. Check back from time to time, there are many more bridges to ride to and photograph.


    Brad
  4. Silver dude

    Silver dude Adventurer

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    1st post been lurking on this thread a long time. Excellent details in this thread. I've always had a thing for the history and engineering that went into these old structures. Who knew that Illinois has something to explore.
  5. DBrentMiller

    DBrentMiller Sojourn Chronicles

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    Will do. It's on my list of threads to check. The next time I ride to Lincoln to visit my brother, Barry Miller, I'll have to pay more attention to the back roads, and see if I can find some of these historical treasurers.

    Brent
  6. Honkey Cat

    Honkey Cat Tailights Fade!

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    great pic and thread. thanks
  7. DustyPockets

    DustyPockets Flatland wanderer.

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    I recall driving across the Hazen bridge (page 3) as a teenager. The condition of the bridge wasn't a a whole lot better then, lots of clattering and creaking going on.

    Thanks for the thread.
  8. rhino_adv

    rhino_adv Gnarly Adventurer

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    Wow!... first post. I am honored!!
    I am glad you are enjoying this thread.
    There is so much more to Illinois than the corn and soybean fields!!


    Brad
  9. rhino_adv

    rhino_adv Gnarly Adventurer

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    Here we have the Airtight Bridge, a through truss bridge over Embarras River on TR 275, northeast of Charleston, 3 mi. northwest of Ashmore. The bridge was built in 1914 by the Decatur Bridge Company. The architect was Claude L. James. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1981 as survey number 81000211. The bridge is open to traffic with a total length: 189.5 ft., a deck width: 15.4 ft. and vertical clearance above deck: 13.2 ft.

    In 1980, a dismembered corpse ( the head, hands, and feet were missing from the cadaver) was found on the east bank of the river thirty yards downstream from the bridge, causing quite a stir in the local media. Police investigated for years, but were unable to determine <NOBR>the identity</NOBR> of the victim until 1992, when <NOBR>DNA testing</NOBR> produced a match to a missing person from Kankakee, Illinois. The murder is now in the cold case file of the Illinois State Police.

    Location: 39°33'18" N, 88°05'22" W

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    Brad
  10. Oddball

    Oddball Starting over

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    Brad thanks for posting. I had a great time near this bridge in '91 while attending EIU. This will be a must visit in April when I will be going to Moonshine.
  11. rhino_adv

    rhino_adv Gnarly Adventurer

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    Glad you enjoyed the photos!


    Brad
  12. rhino_adv

    rhino_adv Gnarly Adventurer

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    Here we have a closed-spandrel arch bridge over Kickapoo creek on TR 197, 1 mi. south of the Coles Airport in Coles county. This bridge was built in 1909 and is open for all traffic with a total length: 49.8 ft and deck width: 14.1 ft.

    Location:39°27'46" N, 88°15'03" W

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    Brad
  13. rhino_adv

    rhino_adv Gnarly Adventurer

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    The last bridge i photographed in Coles county was the Flat Creek Bridge. This is a pin-connected, 5-panel Pratt pony truss bridge over Flat Creek on TR 53, .5 mi. west of Humboldt. This bridge was built in 1895 and is open to traffic with a total length: 60.3 ft. and deck width: 13.4 ft.

    Location: 39°36'04" N, 88°19'41" W

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    Brad
  14. rhino_adv

    rhino_adv Gnarly Adventurer

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    It is amazing what can be seen when the trees are not full of leaves! This winter while riding about a half hour from home, I noticed an old through truss bridge less than 75 yards west of the road. I have been past here dozens of times in the last 30 years, yet have never seen this bridge. There is no record of this bridge on BRIDGEHUNTER.com nor any of the other bridge sites I am aware of. The bridge is approximatly 4 miles north east of Waynesville in Dewitt county and crosses the Kickapoo creek. If anyone has some information about this bridge please post up here.

    Location: N40 16' 29.7" W89 04' 35.7"

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    Brad
  15. Chris-KH2PM

    Chris-KH2PM KLXer

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    This is a great ongoing topic. Very interesting. Thanks for sharing all of the information, LAT/LONG, and pictures. It's interesting putting the coordinates in Google Earth and finding these. Particularly the railroad bridges that are no longer in use. You can zoom out and see where the old railroad right of way went.

    I'm subscribed!
  16. nickmo

    nickmo Adventurer

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    I just thought I'd drop in and let you know that I work with a girl whose family owned the mill, surrounding land, and is the namesake for the mill and bridge. Her family still owns a fair amount of the ajacent land. Her grandfather who was nicknamed rooster, and went by "roost" carved his name in the bridge. You can see it in the last photo on the support to the left of "Kate + John".

    I knew she was from Cowden, so I asked about the bridge when I came across the pictures in your thread. She proceeded to tell me all about the bridge and mill.

    Great thread! It is a small world.
  17. rhino_adv

    rhino_adv Gnarly Adventurer

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    That is VERY interesting!! Thank you for adding to the history of this old bridge!


    Brad
  18. rhino_adv

    rhino_adv Gnarly Adventurer

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    Before I accidently ran across BRIDGEHUNTER.com I would use Google Earth to search for these bridges. I would zoom in on creeks/rivers and run up/down stream untill I located a structure. I would then save the gps coordinates and place them in my Garmin and follow the directions to the bridge.
    Im glad you are enjoying this thread.


    Brad
  19. rhino_adv

    rhino_adv Gnarly Adventurer

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    I had been to the WOLF covered bridge several times in the past, but never had a camera with me. Yesterday the weather was beautiful and my wife had plans for most of the day, so I decided to ride to Knox county and photograph this and one other old bridge.

    The Wolf Covered Bridge was built in the 1840s. Originally, it just had a wooden deck. The cover was added in 1874. The structure was 234 feet in length and had a span of 102 feet. It was 11 feet wide, leaving room for just one lane of traffic.
    On Aug. 1, 1994, the bridge was destroyed by fire. When firefighters arrived, all that remained of the bridge were the approaches. It had apparently been burning all night, but the call did not come in until 8:05 a.m. A witness reported seeing a glow in the sky at 3 a.m. but nothing was reported at that time.
    Three teenage boys were arrested for arson. They allegedly confessed to investigators they were high on blotter acid, a form of LSD, and present when papers were set on fire inside the bridge. After a lengthy trial, the juveniles were found guilty on lesser charges and placed on probation. All were under-age at the time of the fire.
    The Illinois Department of Transportation started rebuilding the bridge in July 1998. It was expected to be finished by December, but a shortage of timber delayed work until spring. The new bridge is a replica of the old bridge and cost around $900,000 to complete. The new bridge was completed in September 1999 and a grand opening ceremony was held on Sept. 25.

    Howe through truss bridge over Spoon river on county road 17 with a total length of 233.9 feet and deck width of 11.5 feet.

    Location: 40°51'23" N, 90°06'35" W

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    Brad
  20. kimzx1000r

    kimzx1000r Been here awhile

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    And this thread is how we got hooked on old bridges! I am starting to fall behind. I have got to get a calling card! :lol3