This beautiful bridge is an impressive and excellent example of of a reinforced concrete railroad bridge. In general, railroads seem to have preferred metal bridge types for larger bridges and either metal or stone for smaller bridges. In general concrete seems to have been most commonly used with railroad over highway overpasses. There are some exceptions, particularly with specific railroad companies. However, on the whole, concrete arch bridges such as this one are relatively uncommon. They also appears to be particularly rare in the northeastern Illinois region. This adds to the significance of the bridge. As a six span example that appears to retain excellent historic integrity, this is a particularly noteworthy example. An open spandrel design that includes architectural detailing makes this an aesthetically pleasing bridge as well. This bridge was apparently completed 1919 as a four track railroad bridge. Today the bridge only carries a single railroad track, however the bridge does remain active for trains. According to The New international year book, Volume 1923 the bridge replaced a three span metal truss bridge. A construction technique often called "half-width construction" today was used to build this bridge, where half of the new bridge was built, then the previous bridge demolished to make way for the second half of the bridge to be constructed. The article is shown below:
"Kankakee Bridge Of Illinois Central R. R. An interesting project completed during the year was a wide bridge for the Illinois Central Railroad at Kankakee, Ill., built as two bridges without interval by the use of the same equipment twice and two separate set-ups of the same centres. This was a 4-track, 6-arch railway bridge, with five 90-foot and one 60-foot barrel arch spans, with spandrel walls and a deck of precast slabs. It is 64 feet wide, face to face at arch rings, and including the piers the structure required about 16,000 cubic yards of concrete. It took the place of a single-track, three-span steel truss bridge, and construction of the new bridge was undertaken without interfering with the old. After the first half of the bridge was completed, tracks were shifted from the steel bridge to it, the older structure was removed, and the remainder of the new bridge was then built." -The New international year book, Volume 1923
Coordinates (Latitude, Longitude):
Search For Additional Bridge Listings:
© Copyright 2003-2022, HistoricBridges.org. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer: HistoricBridges.org is a volunteer group of private citizens. HistoricBridges.org is NOT a government agency, does not represent or work with any governmental agencies, nor is it in any way associated with any government agency or any non-profit organization. While we strive for accuracy in our factual content, HistoricBridges.org offers no guarantee of accuracy. Information is provided "as is" without warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied. Information could include technical inaccuracies or errors of omission. Opinions and commentary are the opinions of the respective HistoricBridges.org member who made them and do not necessarily represent the views of anyone else, including any outside photographers whose images may appear on the page in which the commentary appears. HistoricBridges.org does not bear any responsibility for any consequences resulting from the use of this or any other HistoricBridges.org information. Owners and users of bridges have the responsibility of correctly following all applicable laws, rules, and regulations, regardless of any HistoricBridges.org information.