UP Chase Road Bridge

Lost Deck Girder Bridge over Chase Road
South of Fulton, Whiteside County, Illinois

Click the Photo Above to See All Photos of This Bridge!
Name UP Chase Road Bridge
Built By Chicago & North Western Railway
Contractor American Bridge Company of New York
Last Owned By Union Pacific Railroad
Length 58 Feet Total, 29 Foot Spans
Width 2 Tracks
Height Above Ground 12 Feet (Estimated)
Superstructure Type Steel Girder
Substructure Type Concrete
Date Built 1910
Date Replaced 2016
Traffic Count 0 Trains/Day (Bridge has been Replaced)
C&NW Bridge Number 260
Current Status Replaced
Significance Local Significance
Documentation Date December 2012
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 oddly designed girder bridge over Chase Road once contained no flanges on the exterior.
Built in 1910, the bridge was replaced by a new structure in 2016.
The bridge once had a pair of deck girder spans, set onto severely spalled concrete substructures. In 2016, the bridge was replaced by a two span I-Beam bridge.
When removed, the bridge was in poor condition. It was likely replaced as Union Pacific continues to upgrade this route.

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


Source Type


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

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