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State Line Bridge

Lake County Bridge 36

State Line Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: August 13, 2006

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
State Line Road Over Kankakee River
Rural: Kankakee County, Illinois and Lake County, Indiana: United States
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
By Builder/Contractor: Unknown

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Main Span Length
221.8 Feet (67.6 Meters)
Structure Length
223.8 Feet (68.21 Meters)
Roadway Width
17 Feet (5.18 Meters)
1 Main Span(s)
NBI Number

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)

Bridge Documentation

View Archived National Bridge Inventory Report - Has Additional Details and Evaluation

The date given in National Bridge Inventory is 1926 for the construction date. This date is not an appropriate date for this design of bridge. A circa 1900 construction date is more likely. This bridge is an extremely rare example of one-lane pin connected Pennsylvania through truss bridge. Although on a state and county line, this bridge is under Lake County jurisdiction.

 The bridge is traditionally composed, but the complex nature of the Pennsylvania truss bridge gives this bridge a beautiful geometry that is more complex than most truss bridges. The bridge's built-up beams feature v-lacing on various locations, and has an a-frame portal bracing design.

The water level is almost up to the floor beams of the bridge, and it is always like this lately. The reason is because the some genius in Indiana decided to dredge the Kankakee River, and it increased the flow of water so much that it caused water and silt to build in in Illinois (where the river is still natural and not dredged) which effectively have formed a dam and caused water levels to ride. Nice going Indiana! Additionally, the dredging ruins the natural beauty of a river, and makes it look like an oversized ditch. There is a reason that rivers have natural sediment and plant life and wind around the landscape, and the problem that Indiana has caused is the reason why these elements which slow the flow of water are present. They help make the river work... remove them... and you have a big problem!

For a long time, Lake County sought the demolition of this rare historic bridge, and a lot of arguments took place over the fate of the bridge. Fortunately, the issues have apparently been resolved and this bridge is reportedly going to be preserved in place.

Information and Findings From DHPA Historic Bridge Survey

Statement of Significance

The use of unusually light verticals and the absence of any sub-strut gives this truss a delicate appearance. The absence of adjustable diagonals or counters is also unusual for a pin-connected truss. The bridge retains its otherwise unadorned original members.

Architectural Description

Seated upon concrete abutments and wingwalls this pin-connected Pennsylvania through truss with sub-ties spans 222' in twelve panels bounded by intermediate verticals of laced double angles. The angle of the top chord varies for each two panels of the center and the adjoining side sections. A horizontal member (of laced double angles) placed midway between the chords suggests a mid-vertical pin-point for the double-intersecting diagonals of the pairs of central panels and for the outer panel of the adjoining side section. Double die-forged eyebars serve as diagonals and as sub-ties. U-bolted to pins below the lower chord, I floor beams support the timber deck with its 16'3" roadway and 19' of vertical clearance.

Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: Yes


Photo Galleries and Videos: State Line Bridge

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