Abandoned Town Line Road Bridge

Abandoned Deck Plate Girder Bridge over Town Line Road
Seatonville, Bureau County, Illinois

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Name Abandoned Town Line Road Bridge
Built By Indiana, Illinois & Iowa Railroad
Contractor Unknown
Currently Owned By Norfolk Southern Railway
Length 148 Feet Total, 30 Foot Main Span
Width 1 Track
Height Above Ground 20 Feet (Estimated)
Superstructure Type Deck Girder and Trestle
Substructure Type Timber Pile
Date Built Ca. 1910
Traffic Count 0 Trains/Day (Bridge is Abandoned)
Current Status Abandoned
NYC Bridge Number 190.45
Significance Local Significance
Documentation Date June 2015
In 1881, the Indiana, Illinois and Iowa Railroad constructed a line from Momence, Illinois to Streator, Illinois.

In 1899, the Streator and Clinton began construction of a line connecting Streator to a point on the Illinois River south of DePue, Illinois.
The line would be completed by the Indiana, Illinois and Iowa Railroad, who also built from DePue, through Ladd to Churchill.

The critical missing link was the bridge over the Illinois River.

In 1906, the II&I would become part of the Chicago, Indiana and Southern Railroad. The CI&S began a project to fill the link, which included three large bridges.
This would be completed by early 1908.

This line began to serve as a beltline. On the north, it would connect to a Milwaukee Road line between Ladd and Rockton.
The Milwaukee Road would use the line between Ladd and Granville, where it would leave and head to Oglesby.

In Kankakee, the line had major intersections with an Illinois Central line to Chicago.

The CI&S became a part of the New York Central Railroad in 1914.
NYC merged with the Pennsylvania Railroad, a rival in 1968. The new railroad was named the Penn Central. However, this company went bankrupt within two years.
When it fell apart, it was considered to be the largest bankruptcy in United States History.

The Federal Government took over the railroad, and passed the Railroad Revitalization and Regulatory Reform Act of 1976.

This act ensured that Penn Central would be pushed into a merger with 5 other failed railroads, and become known as Consolidated Rail, or "Conrail".

By this point, Conrail decided not to continue service past Granville, and the Milwaukee Road took over operations from Ladd to Granville. The Churchill branch was abandoned.
When the Milwaukee Road fell in 1980, the railroad from Moronts (near Granville) to Ladd was abandoned.

In 1999, Conrail was divided between CSX and Norfolk Southern. NS came into control of this line, and currently operates it between Moronts and Kankakee. It is known as the Kankakee Branch and Granville Industrial Lead.
In 2015, talk has resurfaced about the viability of reconstructing the line from DePue to Moronts, to once again form a beltway around Chicago. So far, no decisions have been made.

Located in Seatonville, this standard deck girder bridge crosses Town Line Road.
Built in approximately 1910, the bridge features a single deck girder span, set onto timber substructures. The bridge is approached by trestle on either side.
Despite the estimated build date, the history of the bridge is completely unknown.
Overall, the bridge appears to be in fair condition.

The author has ranked this bridge as being locally significant, due to the common design.
The photo above is an overview.


Source Type


Build Date Estimated
Railroad Line History Source ICC Valuation Information, Compiled by Richard S. Steele

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