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Lick Creek Railroad Bridge

Lick Creek Railroad Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: March 21, 2016

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Railroad (Chicago and North Western Railroad) Over Lick Creek
Rural: Sangamon County, Illinois: United States
Structure Type
Metal Rivet-Connected Lattice (Quadruple Warren) Deck Truss, Fixed and Approach Spans: Concrete Deck Girder, Fixed
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1883 By Builder/Contractor: Alden and Lassig Bridge and Iron Works of Chicago, Illinois

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Main Span Length
123 Feet (37.5 Meters)
Structure Length
425 Feet (129.5 Meters)
Roadway Width
Not Available
3 Main Span(s) and 2 Approach Span(s)
NBI Number
Not Applicable

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
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Bridge Documentation

Bridge dimensions given are extremely rough estimates. This rare multi-span lattice deck truss is a surprising find over this small creek. Technically, it goes over two waterways, Lick Creek plus a small tributary. It is abandoned. It is a traditional example of its type. The Chicago and North Western Railroad, unlike other railroad companies, preferred lattice truss bridges and built many of them. Thus, while lattice trusses are rare in general, they are more common on railroad lines associated with Chicago and North Western Railroad. There is a riveted steel stringer highway bridge on unusual roller bearings next to this bridge on Wesley Chapel Road which was not historic enough to be listed, but a few photos of it are included in the gallery too. The highway bridge appears to have since been closed to traffic.

John Marvig did some research on this bridge and found some important information: This bridge was built 1883 at Geneva, IL as Spans A&D of Bridge #66; these spans were moved here in 1921. I would assume the builder is Alden & Lassig, but I cannot confirm at this time. From what we have figured out, the original Geneva bridge had three truss lines on four spans (two long spans and two short spans).  The outer truss lines were the "light" lines, the inner truss line between the two tracks was the "heavy" line.  It seems that the two short/heavy lines were sent to Spring Creek, and the two heavy/long lines were sent to Lick Creek, along with the four light/short and four light/long truss lines.  These were double trussed to make them stronger. The Lick Creek bridge has three spans, and the north and south spans are the "light" trusses, which were double trussed.  The middle span is the "heavy" truss, which explains why it uses a conventional layout.  I am still trying to figure out if the "heavy" trusses are original to the 1883 bridge, or were added later.

John's research indicates that this is an extremely old surviving example of a rivet-connected truss bridge.

See the existing Geneva Railroad Bridge and a photo of the 1883 version on this page.



Photo Galleries and Videos: Lick Creek Railroad Bridge

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