Abandoned Fox River Bridge

Deck Plate Girder Bridge over Fox River
Aurora, Kane County, Illinois

Click the Photo Above to See All Photos of This Bridge!
Name Abandoned Fox River Bridge
Built By Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad
Contractor Unknown
Currently Owned By City of Aurora
Length 445 Feet Total, 80 Foot Spans
Width 1 Track, Piers Built for 2
Height Above Ground 10 Feet (Estimated)
Superstructure Type Deck Plate Girder
Substructure Type Stone Masonry and Concrete
Date Built Ca. 1910
Traffic Count 0 Trains/Day (Bridge is Abandoned)
Current Status Abandoned
Significance Local Significance
Documentation Date July 2015
In 1852, the Chicago & Aurora Railroad built a mainline between Mendota, Illinois and Aurora, Illinois.
At Aurora, the line connected to other railroads, which branched in all directions.

At the same time, the Central Military Tract Railroad built a line from Mendota, to Galesburg. This additional line would lay the groundwork of a series of western lines into Iowa and Missouri.

Both railroads became part of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad in 1855.

The CB&Q used Aurora as a hub, with other rail lines coming in and out.

This line cut across mostly rural land, going through small towns along the way.
The line was also important, and was double tracked very quickly. By 1868, the line was double tracked between Chicago and Mendota.

The remainder of the line was double tracked in sections, mostly in the 1880s.

The line was critical to the CB&Q. By 1970, the CB&Q was merged into Burlington Northern, along with the Great Northern and Northern Pacific.
BN continued to operate the line until 1996, when they merged with Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe to form BNSF Railway.

BNSF currently operates this as their Mendota Subdivision. It sees a steady traffic base, and carries Amtrak.

Located north of North Avenue, this deck girder bridge crosses the Fox River.
Built in approximately 1910, the bridge features six deck plate girder spans, set onto stone and concrete substructures. With the alternating pattern of the substructures, it is clear that the previous bridge at this location was a truss.
Unfortunately, little is known about this bridge. No records of its construction can be found.
This bridge was the original CB&Q main line through Aurora, but it was bypassed in 1920. It is likely that the bridge was abandoned in the 1980s.
Overall, the bridge appears to be in good condition. It is unknown what the future of the bridge is.

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

Fox River Railroad Bridges
Upstream (West Channel) Geneva Rail Bridge
Downstream (West Channel) Hurds Island Rail Bridge (W)
Downstream (East Channel) Hurds Island Rail Bridge (E)


Source Type


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

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