Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Lost/TP&W Bridge across Illinois River in Peoria, IL

(Bridge Hunter) (Update: it has happened, I have two postings for the same bridge. See also the older one.)

Larry Miller III shared Local History Collection : Peoria Public Library's photo
T.P. & W Bridge - 1922
McKinley Bridge in the background
Courtesy: Peoria Public Library
1939 Aerial Photo from ILHAP
The 1922 photo was probably taken from the road bridge. TP&W is the railroad bridge on the right. McKinley Bridge is on the left and some of the pictures of that bridge have this bridge in the background.

Third Photo in a 1947 TP&W Album

Photo from Dan Mickalonis album
Dean Cunningham posted three photos with the comment:
This is a day I will never forget. It was the winter of 1970 when the TP&W Illinois River Bridge was struck by a south bound river barge in Peoria, Illinois.
Early on this winter day Ben Bailey Field Engineer and I were inspecting and surveying a problem we were having with the pier cap that had separated from the pier that stood on the east side of the river channel. The bridge's truss span rested on this pier cap and the separation could cause the railroad track to go out of alignment. We saw no problem at the moment so we returned to TP&W Main Office.
Once back in the office we received word the bridge had fallen into the river. A river boat with barges had struck the very pier we were standing on during the inspection. It and a truss span had collapsed into the Illinois River.
These three photos were shared with me by Jack Franklin the Chief Engineer of the TP&W. A.W. Polich was Vice President of Operations at the time.
Was not a good day for the railroad, however Ben & I survived. We were not ready to go swimming that winter day. I have always said, the railroad is not the safest place to work.
Dean Cunningham - System Engineer TP&W 1970




John Stell posted
TP&W Illinois river bridge at East Peoria looking west towards Peoria. John Stell slide from February 1982.
Rick Braggs If that is the one next to steak 'n Shake it was hit by a barge in the winter of 1970 never rebuilt.David JordanGroup Admin John Stell I thought most of the bridge was dismantled by the late 1970s?John Stell I know this was Feb 1982 because I had a railfan visitor from Canada.

Photo from Dan Mickalonis album

Richard Mead posted
Carl Venzke posted
TP&W Illinois River Bridge - Eastbound train coming from Peoria side next to Franklin St. bridge - Ken Christianson photo - sorry no date

Peter Zimmerman posted
Original Toledo Peoria & Western Railway bridge over Illinois River, destroyed by a boat in the 1970's. Today the TP&W operates over the Tazewell & Peoria Railway to cross the river

Larry Miller III shared
Franklin St., TP&W and McKinley Bridges
circa 1925
Courtesy: Peoria Public Library
Concerning the dog leg on the east end of the Franklin Street Bridge, Ron Johnson commented on a posting:
The story I heard was that construction was started on the Peoria side before the land on the EP side was secured. The owner of that land tried to hold out for more money but the land next to it was bought to complete the bridge. Hence the dogleg.
From that same posting, we learn that the barge allision happened on 2/12/1970.

From a share:
Dean Cunningham Chief Engineer TP&W Jack Franklin took these photo's. One hour before the bridge was struck by a barge I was standing on the pier that is shown collapsed and in the Illinois River Peoria, IL. I was TP&W System Engineer at the time and was inspecting the track alignment since the pier cap was separated from the pier. Field Engineer Ben Bailey was with me only he was on the river bank. We had returned to the TP&W Office when we heard of the incident!! It was my lucky day!!

Larry Miller III shared
Written on back: April 16, 1922, TP&W Bridge

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