There were once a number of bridges very similar to this one on the Illinois River. Thanks to rampant demolition of these spectacular landmark bridges, this is one of the last surviving examples. The bridge features an
large and impressive Pennsylvania truss channel span flanked by smaller Parker through truss spans which are in turn flanked by steel stringer spans. This bridge retains good historic integrity with no major alterations to the truss spans
noted. Given the loss of other similar bridges this bridge should be given a high preservation priority. However given IDOT's past record with these bridges, it seems doubtful that the bridge will be preserved. The other bridges of this
design were replaced by bridges that might set a world record for ugliest bridge. The loss was not only in terms of heritage, it was also in terms of beauty. A similar loss can be expected here should IDOT move to demolish and replace this
Above: These photos show the previous bridge, an 1870 wooden through truss swing bridge. In 1933 a barge hit the swing span and closed it, leading to the construction of the metal truss bridge.
Above: This photo shows the bridge shortly after it was completed.
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Full Motion Video
Note: The downloadable high quality version of this video (available on the video page) is well worth the download since it offers excellent 1080 HD detail and is vastly more impressive than the compressed streaming video. Streaming video of the bridge. Also includes a higher quality downloadable video for greater clarity or offline viewing.