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Thread: Kankakee State Line Bridge (pic heavy)

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    Senior Member Full Otto's Avatar

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    Jul 2010

    Kankakee State Line Bridge (pic heavy)

    Good day for a ride cold but sunny. I've actually driven over it many years ago just wanted to find it again

    One of the last old bridges still spanning the Kankakee river

    Here's a short trip going from the north end to the south

    A little dicey on the deck in a few spots

    "Bridge of Sighs" reference I'd guess

    Spotted a bald eagle along the way

    I don't think I'd be on the road here after a heavy rain

    Here's some better information than I can offer

    This bridge is predominately in Indiana with a small portion of the Western trusses at most being in the state of Illinois. The Kankakee River is actually the dividing line for Lake and Newton Counties in Indiana, and so the bridge could be said to be in 3 counties and 2 states.


    Closed to all traffic

    Future prospects
    To be rehabilitated in place
    Built ca. 1900
    Pin-connected Pennsylvania through truss
    Length of largest span: 222.1 ft.
    Total length: 226.1 ft.
    Deck width: 17.4 ft.
    Vertical clearance above deck: 19.0 ft.

    The bridge has stood over the Kankakee River on the state line about 7 miles east of Momence since 1924, when it was moved from where it was built in 1900, just south of where Illinois Route 17 now crosses the river west of Hieland Road.

    Numerous proposals to rebuild or replace the bridge have been made since even before it was finally closed to traffic about 18 years ago, but it still stands unused except for the occasional fisherman, hiker or journalist who chooses to cross over.

    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.

    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.
    Last edited by Full Otto; 01-11-2022 at 11:41 PM.
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