UP Bridge #108.35

Stone Arch Bridge over Intermittent Stream
Sterling, Whiteside County, Illinois

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Name UP Bridge #108.35
Built By Chicago & North Western Railway
Contractor Unknown
Currently Owned By Union Pacific Railroad
Length 12 Feet Total
Width 2 Tracks
Height Above Ground 12 Feet
Type Stone Arch
Date Built 1898
Traffic Count 90 Trains/Day (Estimated)
Current Status In Use
UP Bridge Number 108.35
Significance Local Significance
In 1855 the Galena & Chicago Union Railroad started a project to build from the Chicago Union Station to the mining town of Galena in far Northwest Illinois. This attempt was thwarted as the Illinois Central got to the town first.
The line was instead built to the Mississippi River at Fulton. The Mississippi River was a major barrier for any railroad at the time. Earlier that year the Rock Island Railroad had started the bridge across the Mississippi in Rock Island.
The railroad used a ferry for many years to cross the Mississippi River.
The line was built across the river in 1865 and completed into Clinton. The Iowa & Nebraska Railroad continued building west from Clinton in 1856 and it was completed to Omaha in 1867.

The line was instrumental in the connection to the west coast. It was part of the transcontinental railroad.

It eventually became a part of the Chicago & Northwestern System.
In 1884, the C&NW undertook a major project to double track the line. It was double tracked as far as Sterling in 1898, and Omaha by 1901.

The C&NW operated this as a mainline. The Geneva Subdivision, as it was known extended from Clinton, Iowa to Chicago.
In 1995, the Union Pacific purchased the C&NW. They continue to operate this line with a steady traffic base as their Geneva Subdivision.

This small stone arch has been significantly filled in, so it looks far smaller than it really is.
The bridge is easily accessed from the end of 14th Avenue. It is a small drainage creek.

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

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