475+ old bridges in Illinois

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

  1. BigDogAdventures

    BigDogAdventures Fart Letter

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2003
    Oddometer:
    6,732
    Location:
    Mt. Vernon, Illinois
    Your welcome triple play----now I've got at least a couple more I found on that ride.

    And I got to to "dry fork C-PT"
    It wasn't a bridge at all---I could see no trace of a bridge--just an easy ford.


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    History says a bridge used to be here and was built in 1910.

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    Next up "dry fork O-PT"

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    I forgot to pee off of it-----nor leave my Mark ?????

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    From the other side---there was a lot of leaves and brush caught on the bridge---so you can tell that
    sometimes the water got over the bridge.

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    This one was built in 1909.

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    When I got home I put a new rear tire on my KLR.
    The old dog has about 55,000 miles on it--and has seen many a tire.
    I usually run a Kenda K-270, but put on a Dunlop 606 to help me get around this winter.

    So far the 2 full days I've been doing this---I've never seen another motorcycle.
    Of course it's winter--and I'm out in the boonies.

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    The weather will dictate when I can get out again and visit some more bridges.
    I am really enjoying this. Lot's of fun---and close to home.

    #21
  2. TRZ Charlie

    TRZ Charlie That's MR. Asshole

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2008
    Oddometer:
    20,408
    Location:
    Fayetteville, AR
    Great stuff Mark. I am enjoying your photo journal. Thanks
    #22
  3. jped

    jped jped

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2009
    Oddometer:
    67
    Location:
    E. Iowa
    I live in Clinton, IA, been here since about 1965. Not far from where I live was a place called, Allied Steel. Locals called it the "Bridge Works." About 1970 I lived in a "Rooming House" with an older fellow had worked for the BW before WWII, driving a gas semi around the Midwest delivering these bridges. He told me would often go to a small town, find the location of the bridge to be constructed, going to the local tavern or barber shop and hiring 5-6 locals to unload the bridge iron with large beams and long steel poles used as pry bars to roll the iron off the trailer. Anybody know anything about Clinton Iowa bridges?

    Attached Files:

    #23
  4. jped

    jped jped

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2009
    Oddometer:
    67
    Location:
    E. Iowa
    More pics taken on Sunday, 12/18/11

    Attached Files:

    #24
  5. Solomoriah

    Solomoriah likes the back roads

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2009
    Oddometer:
    454
    Location:
    Upper Right-Hand Corner of Missouri
    Okay, looking at the new pictures, I see that the bridge appears to be a wooden truss; Bridgehunter.com lists an "Iris Street Bridge" which is a Kingpost-type wooden truss, so I'm assuming this is it. According to the listing on Bridgehunter.com, it's closed to all traffic, but the picture indicates that it's actually open to pedestrian traffic. I'll see about getting it updated.

    Thanks!
    #25
  6. Solomoriah

    Solomoriah likes the back roads

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2009
    Oddometer:
    454
    Location:
    Upper Right-Hand Corner of Missouri
    Jped, thanks for the use of your pictures. I've updated the Bridgehunter.com page for the Iris Street Bridge, adding information gleaned from your posts, and of course, your photos. If you're interested, the page is:

    http://bridgehunter.com/il/carroll/8991101839/
    #26
  7. BigDogAdventures

    BigDogAdventures Fart Letter

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2003
    Oddometer:
    6,732
    Location:
    Mt. Vernon, Illinois
    Dec, 31st 2011
    It's still winter---but the day before this ride I was eyeballin' the weather and a high of 54° was predicted.
    I found a new riding buddy Tom Huel from Carlyle, Illinois and gave him a call.
    He was all over it---and off we went on a very cold freezing morning on our Yamaha WR250R's.

    Just Southeast of Anna, Illinois I would find our first bridge--the Sadler bridge.

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    It was an old wooden bridge---as most all the bridges we would find today were. It seemed to go to private property to me.
    I had about 10 bridges to find today--most were still there----but we rode over at least 25 more just like this
    that weren't even marked on bridge hunter.com ?????

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    These 2 were very close together----nothing spectacular like a pony truss or thru truss bridge----but they were on lonely
    country roads and we had a ball riding to them.

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    Sadler rd O-WB

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    Nash rd O-WB

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    A third bridge on Bauer road.
    Bauer rd3 O-WB

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    This is my new buddy Tom Huels--he got a low mileage WR250R just like mine.

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    We went over a whole bunch of wooden bridges not marked on bridgehunter.com

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    #27
  8. BigDogAdventures

    BigDogAdventures Fart Letter

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2003
    Oddometer:
    6,732
    Location:
    Mt. Vernon, Illinois
    Updated gps file for 12-31-11 ride.
    I do not advise riding this ride on a big bike. It's easy most of the time,
    but gets pretty tough in at least 2 spots. Ride a small bike and pack light.

    The track doesn't show me going to the Airport bridge---I did go there but edited the track log after much backtracking.

    Attached Files:

    #28
  9. BigDogAdventures

    BigDogAdventures Fart Letter

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2003
    Oddometer:
    6,732
    Location:
    Mt. Vernon, Illinois
    More 12-31-11

    I turned down Airport Road---(not an airport in site) ???
    And there was airport bridge.
    And another bridge just beyond it.

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    Or should I say---what was left of it.
    Me and Tom laughed here and talked about our younger years racing dirt bikes and all the stupid stuff we did---and
    pondered if we would have tried to ride across the creek on those I-beams-------nah !!!!!

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    I couldn't get thru Airport road obviously---so went around to the other bridge just to the Northwest of Airport bridge

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    There it is behind Tom

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    It's been replaced by a new bridge dang--it !!!!

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    It was cold all day---and I had my heated grips on high all day pretty much.
    But didn't need my heated vest I'd brought along.
    Tom didn't have any heated grips but never complained.
    We went down Wilderness retreat road next.

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    wilderness retreat rd O-WB

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    I decided to take the WR on this ride instead of the KLR---as I had routed us thru some pretty tough riding later on.

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    This road here is on a map----and has washed out really bad---it looks bad--but is worse than it looks.
    You have to ride beside a deep rut---and it's off camber--if you tip over you are probably going to break your leg--and if you
    keep it upright--you'll just go off in the deep rut. It's very steep here--the it got muddy past this as we crossed 2 creeks.

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    I laughed at this one---looks like the board is holding up the bridge---maybe it was ???
    It can't be long before all this bridges will disappear.
    Just as soon as those O'Bama dollars kick in.

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    We went down Bean ridge road which is a really fun and neat one lane dirt gravel road.
    Off of Bean ridge I turned down a road that I knew dead ended eventually---but I knew of some single track that ran
    high on a ridge before dropping down into Sexton Creek.
    It was mucky on top of that ridge and we both were sliding all over the place.

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    And when Tom descended this steep hill---he started off way to fast, and I thougth he was going to smack that tree or hit me on the way down.
    He was kind of cussing me on the way down---with a smile !!!!
    There was slick mud under a 6" layer of leaves.

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    We dropped into Sexton creek which is also the old McClure road believe it or not---it goes on like this for a mile or so.
    Really deep loose river gravel in which you cross a dozen water crossings.
    It's a hoot if you have a small bike with a steering damper---not so much if you don't.
    I've ridden my 950 thru here---but wouldn't do it again.
    Tom makes it look easy.

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    Right as you come out of Sexton creek and continue East on the old McClure road--you go by this neat old siloh.

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    More to Come
    #29
  10. BigDogAdventures

    BigDogAdventures Fart Letter

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2003
    Oddometer:
    6,732
    Location:
    Mt. Vernon, Illinois
    More 12-31-11

    Man the riding was good that day---we rode North on a river levee for many miles--then up into the Pine Hills area of the Shawnee Forest--then
    North on a narrow road on top of a bluff overlooking the migty Mississippi river on top of Government rock.
    After descending the high rock ridge. we road another levee West and came to another bridge in my GPS--except this was an old
    but active railroad tressell which goes over the Big Muddy river--and not far from here dumps into the Mississippi.

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    I have one memeory of this bridge----a few years ago a steam locomotive was going to come down the tracks and over this bridge.
    I heard about it from a friend----and I waited for 5 hrs. in the pouring rain for the steam engine to cross this bridge--it was
    going to be a wonderful sight and I couldn't wait to get a picture of it. Seems the engine broke down in St. Louis I think and never got here
    till a few days later. As I recall the train was carrying passengers that were stopping at many baseball games. Kind of forgot the details.

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    We bee-lined it for some late afternoon lunch at my favorite eating establishment after getting some
    gas in Grand Tower, Illinois.
    The Bottoms Up Bar and Grill in Nunert, Illinos---Population about 14 I think.
    They have great food here and are really nice people-----I luv this place and have taken my wife here
    several times.

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    After leaving the Bottom's up we headed South on route 3 and then East on Oakwood Bottoms road, which goes thru
    some neat flooded bottom land that is barely out of the water---and got on another leveee road that came up on the other side
    of the same railroad bridge we came by earlier.

    This is bridge Halsey O-TTRR


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    I'ts been on my bucket list for at least 25 years to ride across this tressell--now how stupid is that. Not today I told Tom !!!!
    Looks like the perfect place to break a leg.

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    It was really windy now---and we sat on the tracks awhile---and I finally thougth I better get off the tracks. I wasn't sure
    you could here a train coming it was so windy.

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    After this we headed East on a levee and up into the Pine Hills again and headed for home.
    Me and Tom had just met---but had a great time together.
    Until next time----I've got way more bridges to find.
    #30
  11. BigDogAdventures

    BigDogAdventures Fart Letter

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2003
    Oddometer:
    6,732
    Location:
    Mt. Vernon, Illinois
    1-8-12
    Updated gps file.

    Attached Files:

    #31
  12. BigDogAdventures

    BigDogAdventures Fart Letter

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2003
    Oddometer:
    6,732
    Location:
    Mt. Vernon, Illinois
    Jan. 7th 2012

    Heck it's winter---you ain't suppose to be riding this time of year !!!
    But it was a nice 50° -----and I found quite a few more bridges---and had some issues with property !!!!
    It hadn't rained in a while and was pretty dry---so I chose the 950 to ride--and hope I wouldn't fall over
    out in the middle of nowhere and couldn't pick it up !!!!

    I headed towards Mill Shoals, Illinois to a bridge I tried to get to a couple of weeks ago
    but the road were under water---would the bridge still be there.

    It was not far from here about a year ago my Rallye Alp thru a rod----it wasn't pretty.

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    I approaced from the West and happily I saw the bridge in the distance---could I ride over it ?????
    Bridge "mill sholes C-TT" on the gps file.

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    Pretty neat old bridge on a drainage ditch----and I got to ride over it---but it had been blocked in the passed.
    But somebody pulled the steel out of the way--------it wasn't me !!!!!

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    This bridge was one I had tried to get to many years ago----and left a waypoint called "DE" --------Dead end.
    But today I would Endeavor to Persevere.
    My first approach (there would be 2) was from the South and the Little Wabash River wasn't far away..

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    And down this road I went---further on it got real muddy.
    I finally came to a gate that said private-----do not come down this road--more about that in a bit.

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    I wasn't giving up that easy-----and went way around and approached from the North.
    I came down that road from the farmhouse you see off in the distance and stopped at a No-Trespassing sign and waited.
    And waited---for flying bullets---mad farmer----shotgun yielding pick up truck---I waited---I was kind of tense and the
    bridge was only 300 yards away across a field where the road had went back to nature---I wasn't giving up.
    Was the bridge still there----google earth said it was--but some of that stuff is old.

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    I finally got enough nerve to walk to the bridge-----after walking a bit I went back and got my gps to guide me to it------good thing as
    the first time I was getting off course. The bridge was long gone------long gone.

    This is bridge "lil wabash rvr2 C-TT" on the gps file.

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    You can see where it landed on the South side--the side I couldn't get to because of the private property.

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    This used to be the entrance to the bridge on my side (North).

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    Boy this is old stuff-----I'm sure this is where the bridge was blocked off years ago with a sign--all that is long gone since there is no road anymore.

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    I'm at the bridge from this picture--you can see my bike way out there and the farmhouse.

    Now for the rest of the story if you care to listen--------do NOT come down here--ever.

    I was about to leave and here comes the pick up truck--------crap !!!!!!
    I took off my helmet to show I was a poor old lost old man and gave a big "good morning" to the driver and
    prepared for the worst.
    Turns out----his family used to own all this land on both sides of the river for generatations---------I said "use to".
    He was so nice----and was just out for a ride and we had a long talk.
    So---all the land is owned by an asshole from Indiana and he can't even fish in his old fishin' hole
    when he was a kid. What a sad story. He told me I was OK where I was parked, but if that guy caught me by the bridge
    I was in big trouble--------so don't come down here on either side of the river.
    I told him I walked to the bridge and we talked about the bridge and he said it fell in the river 8-9 years ago and the corps of
    of engineers made him get all that steel out of the river.
    My gps track shows that I got to the bridge--but I was walking.
    Don't come down here to try and see the bridge--or what's left of it.

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    #32
  13. BigDogAdventures

    BigDogAdventures Fart Letter

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2003
    Oddometer:
    6,732
    Location:
    Mt. Vernon, Illinois
    So off I go to try and find another bridge---another that I tried to find awhile back--but the road was under water
    and I wasn't sure that it didn't get washed away.

    On my way I went across this unmarked bridge ------but it's construction was neat.

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    Lot's of oil wells in this area---and this unmarked bridge seemed to be made of oil well drill pipe ?????
    Neat old bridge tho----hard to walk across in motocross boots I'll tell ya'.
    This is "Drill Pipe Bridge" on the waypoint file.
    You may think you are trespassing thru a farmers field as you come down this road---but it's a open county road.

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    This sucker will be standin'
    "Till The Cows Come Home"
    My dads old sayin'---then my sayin'---and now my son's sayin'

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    My favorite bridge that's closest to my house it in sight---man I was glad it was still there.

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    This is brige "grayville O-TT" on the gps file.

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    When you ride over it it might scare you as the old boards rumble loudly.

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    The lonely dirt road exiting the bridge to the East.

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    Pretty big hole I'd say.

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    What's next ???????

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    Holy smokes-----I've never seen this one before------I looked across the other side and I think you can get to it from both sides.
    This is bridge "lil wabash rvr4 C-TT" on the waypoint file.

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    From the East side---the landing was completely gone.

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    The tag on top that usually tells the build date and who built it was nothing but bullet holes and rust.

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    I was just crusing down a paved road on a new bridge and spotte the old bridge down the river.
    It wasn't marked on my gps file---but is now.
    It is bridge "Winters Bridge (Gone)" on the gps file.

    [​IMG]
    #33
  14. BigDogAdventures

    BigDogAdventures Fart Letter

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2003
    Oddometer:
    6,732
    Location:
    Mt. Vernon, Illinois
    What's next----I'm having a good bridge finding day today.
    And felt so lucky to be out riding on a beautiful winter day---had the heated grips on high and was prepared
    to turn on the heated vest if necessary. Looky---2 more bridge close to each other.

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    7 mile creek O-PT
    It's been replaced--dang it.

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    Just down the road a bit ................?????

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    Hah----I got 98 horsepower--ain't no sign gonna stop this monster.

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    But this 5 ft. deep ditch did ??????????

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    Bridge "limekiln creek O-PT" on the gps file.
    The O stands for open---but it's not no more.
    I had a great picture of the bridge from the end--but it had a very nasty bit of griffti.
    No nasty griffiti on BigDogs site.

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    I approached bridge "lil wabash rvr3 C-TT" from both the North and South---couldn't get close to it.
    It was almost in the town of Carmi on the Little Wabash River.

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    I got near home and remembered this old bridge across a drainage ditch I hadn't seen in years.
    It was blocked off 10 years ago-----now it's gone.

    A nice warm meal was waiting for me when I got home---I was kind of chilled.
    Life is good---real good !!!!


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    #34
  15. rhino_adv

    rhino_adv Gnarly Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2010
    Oddometer:
    647
    Location:
    central Illinois (East Peoria)
    Nice bridges on this ride Mark! Thanks for sharing!!

    Brad
    #35
  16. BigDogAdventures

    BigDogAdventures Fart Letter

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2003
    Oddometer:
    6,732
    Location:
    Mt. Vernon, Illinois
    Why it's the least I could do----I feel guilty having so much fun finding these things.
    I'm always careful and respectfull of private property---so I have to watch what I'm doing.

    Mark
    #36
  17. rhino_adv

    rhino_adv Gnarly Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2010
    Oddometer:
    647
    Location:
    central Illinois (East Peoria)


    You can't be to carefull when on private property. I was held at gun point by an angery land owner waiting for a sheriff deputy to arrest me in 1978 for criminal trespass to his property. I was riding an Ossa Pioneer along a creek bank as I had been doing for years, when the land owner decided to make an example of me. The owner had no problem letting us cross his property to get to our fishing/swimming spot until a 4x4 truck came through after a rain and cut his property up with the big tires. Just one inconsiderate person ruined it for everyone! I still venture onto private property at times, but only with the utmost respect to the land and landowner. I am seldom seen and more seldom approched by the landowner. Just last week I found an INTERESTING SIGHT on private property I HAD to photogtaph. I road in and shot some photos and road out without disturbing anything.

    Brad
    #37
  18. TRZ Charlie

    TRZ Charlie That's MR. Asshole

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2008
    Oddometer:
    20,408
    Location:
    Fayetteville, AR
    Very cool stuff Rhino. Thanks for sharing it.
    #38
  19. BigDogAdventures

    BigDogAdventures Fart Letter

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2003
    Oddometer:
    6,732
    Location:
    Mt. Vernon, Illinois
    February 26th, 2012

    I've been so lucky this winter and have been getting out riding all winter.
    It's been cold in the morinings but warms up pretty nicely in the afternoons. I left the house a sunrise and rode to Iuka, Illinois
    where I had breakfast at Penny's cafe-----I love this place---bunch of common ordinary folks---mostly farmers
    who are always eager for conversation----"where you headed on that sickle boy" ????
    "Well................. ain't sure" ?????

    Signs like this were everywhere when I was young-----50 years ago---before the big billboards you see today.
    I hate billboards------it's not nice to hate things I suppose-----but I hate billboards.

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    These next 4 bridges were right in a row on the old Route 50 highway bout 12 miles East of Flora, Illinois.
    The old road is now abandoned and I risked a ticket for riding on it.
    This is a "concrete thru truss" bridge and is so named..........
    "lil wabash C-TT" on the gps file.

    [​IMG]



    The old highway was just fine and really has very little traffic.
    It was a waste of time and tax dollars to build the new road and the new bridges.

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    I squeezed my KLR theu every barrier and got on the bridges and had a gatorade and a snack.

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    I really liked this one----I just loved the old stone and brick side rails.
    It was very long. I can remember traveling with my family when I was a kid in our 1953 Buick century
    on old roads like this---riding along with the window down....as air conditioning hadn't been invented yet
    and hanging my arm and hand out the window playing with the wind. I miss those days.

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    A side view of the same bridge above.

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    The next closest bridge to me on my gps was Sailor Spring bridge in Sailor Springs, Illinois.
    A neat little community.

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    Nothing really spectacular. Maybe your getting tired of looking at these old bridges.......but I want to point out
    how relaxing and fun it was just finding them --------running down all these country roads meeting nice folks
    and just enjoying the riding.

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    But I considered this old school spectacular.
    There was no visible parking lot or lane going up to the school---if there had been, it had gone back to nature.
    But I suppose everybody walked to school back then---like they should now-a-days.

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    On the North side of Newton, Illinois I found this bridge----"old mill C-TT" on the gps file.

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    Nobody had stole the plaque on top of it------yet.
    I talked to a gal at a gas station about the bridge over the Embarrass river and she said the town
    wouldn't let them tear the bridge down.

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    This was the road on the North side of the bridge and there were 3 bridges marked on my gps file on the other side.
    Just little small concrete arch bridges.

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    "brush creek O-CA"
    was next.

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    The above bridge had been replaced----I was too late !!!!:huh:huh:huh

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    "crooked creek O-CA"
    was next-----a neat little concrete arch bridge on a fine country road.
    It was warming up nicely now---and got up to a balmy 50° before the day was done.

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    More to come
    #39
  20. BigDogAdventures

    BigDogAdventures Fart Letter

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2003
    Oddometer:
    6,732
    Location:
    Mt. Vernon, Illinois
    This bridge over crooked creek was going back to nature in a hurry.

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    This is what's left of the road I went down to get to this bridge.
    It was wet and muddy---but my new Dunlop 606's got me thru it.

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    I had tried to get to this bridge from the East side---pictured...but couldn't get thru.

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    Don't try to take a dump out here----you'll get shot with your pants down.
    And that would be embarassing :eek1:eek1

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    The grassy lane is what I rode on to get to this bridge----the bridge is to the right down that hill.
    The road is going back to nature and I was lucky to get to the bridge.
    Lot's of folks kind of claim the land and the bridges it seems after they gete closed.
    I'm not sure I recommend you finding this bridge----it wasn't posted private tho and nobody was around
    and my KLR is oh-so-quiet.

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    "hickory creek O-CA"
    On the gps file-----my gps said I was there----and it was right !!!!!

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    It was probably after noon when I crossed the Hickory Creek bridge---I took this picture of the still partially frozen
    Hickory creek so you could see how cold it was still getting at night.

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    "big creek O-Arch"
    Had been replaced.

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    Let's see if "sugar creek C-PT" is still there ?????

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    About 1/3 of a mile down this grass-----as the road had went back to nature---I found the bridge.

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    Over sugar creek ------it was a neat little bridge----and after walking across it it looked like you could get to it from the North---but
    I had approached it from the South.

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    Time for a break and a snack----so I got on the bridge and relaxed a bit.

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    I left my mark.

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    "brush creek O-Arch"

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    "honey creek2 O-PT

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    I went down and embankment and into the woods to pee.

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    And got a really good look at this bridge.

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    "fitch O-CB"
    It's rare you get to see a bridge with the brass plaque still imbedded in the concrete.

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    Some nice folks stopped to say hi to me here and gave me the history.
    Seems the Fitch family had owned all the property around this bridge forever.
    But it had just been sold----still holding up after almost 100 years.

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    "flat branch O-WD"

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    I almost didn't notice this---but look down beside the bridge and you can see the remains of the previous bridge !!!!

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    This was a hoot----right beside the above bridge running North and South was an old railroad bed.
    I love old railroad beds and it was time for me to head South anyway.
    It also ran North from here too---I want to come back and see how far North it does go.

    [​IMG]

    It was the old "Prairie Central Railroad" as I got into the tiny town of Birds.

    [​IMG]

    More To Come
    #40