This bridge is an excellent example of a truss bridge with a lattice type truss configuration. Although the deck has been converted for pedestrian use, the truss itself is largely unaltered and in good condition.
Tom Winkle did some excellent research and investigation into this bridge and was able to learn about the railroad this bridge originally served. His research also suggests that this bridge dates to before 1909. His comments are below.
I stopped into the Grundy County Historical Museum to see if they might
know anything about the bridge. (The museum is just west of the bridge at the
end of Illinois Avenue.) The gentleman I talked to first seemed to think it was
a bridge across the canal for the first highway bridge across the Illinois,
which was connected to Calhoun St. I said that it looked too narrow and too tall
to be a road bridge, and that it might have been a single track rail bridge, but
I could not see any evidence of a rail grade to the west of the bridge.
This prompted them to get out some old plat map books that they had. In the 1872 plat book, there was no evidence of anything there at all. However, in the 1909 book, it was there. It was part of the Morris Terminal R.R., which served a tannery located between the canal and the river, and businesses and warehouses on Illinois Avenue. The terminal line branched off of the Rock Island east of Morris, served a box plant at that end of town, crossed the canal, proceeded west on the south bank and crossed the canal again via the lattice truss bridge to get to Illinois Avenue. The eastern end bridge is gone. My contact said that there is evidence of a grade there with old ties scattered all over.
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