UP Mackinaw River Bridge

Quadrangular Through Truss Bridge over Mackinaw River
Near Green Valley, Tazewell County, Illinois

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Name UP Mackinaw River Bridge
Built By St. Louis, Peoria, and North Western Railway
Contractor King Bridge Company of Cleveland, Ohio
Currently Owned By Union Pacific Railroad
Length 880 Feet Total, 132 Foot Main Span
Width 1 Track
Height Above Ground 15 Feet (Estimated)
Superstructure Type Quadrangular Through Truss, Deck Girder and Trestle
Substructure Type Concrete, Timber and Steel Pile
Date Built 1913
Traffic Count 2 Trains/Day (Estimated)
Current Status In Use
UP Bridge Number 96.75
C&NW Bridge Number 1753
Significance Moderate Significance
Documentation Date April 2017
In 1901, the Peoria & Northwestern constructed a line from Nelson, Illinois to Peoria, a distance of 83 miles.
The railroad was immediately incorporated into the Chicago & North Western Railway, which connected at Nelson.

By 1913, the railroad was pushing for expansion, and the St. Louis, Peoria & Northwestern railway built an additional 90 miles.
The expansion crossed through Springfield and connected at Girard. The C&NW purchased the railroad.

The C&NW used this as a heavy mainline, connecting St. Louis to Chicago, Springfield and Peoria. It also was used for coal mining.

By 1995, the Chicago & North Western was purchased by Union Pacific. The line from Girard to Barr was abandoned in 1998.

Presently, the Union Pacific calls the Barr to Nelson segment as their Peoria Subdivision.

Located near Green Valley, this large truss bridge crosses the Mackinaw River parallel to IL-29.
Built in 1913 as part of a new line, the bridge features a single Quadrangular Through Truss, approached by a girder on the north side. Originally, these two spans were approched by trestle, however the north approach has been replaced with I-Beams. The bridge rests on concrete, steel and wood substrcuctures.
While nationally the Quadrangular design is uncommon, it was popular with midwestern railroads, particularly the Chicago & North Western.
The builder, King Bridge Company, is also not known to have built many Quadrangular trusses. The only ones known to exist are this one, and the large lift bridge approximately five miles north of here.
Overall, the bridge appears to be in fair to good condition. The author was not able to inspect under the truss, where other nearby similar bridges have been found with serious deterioration.

The author has ranked this bridge as being moderately significant, due to the truss design.
The photo above is an overview from IL-29.

Mackinaw River Railroad Bridges
Upstream CN Mackinaw River Bridge
Downstream IMRR Mackinaw River Bridge


Source Type


Build Date King Bridge Company plaque
Contractor King Bridge Company plaque
Railroad Line History Source ICC Valuation Information, Compiled by Richard S. Steele

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