Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Big Four Bridge over Wabash River near Mt. Carrmel, IL

(Bridge Hunter, no Historic Bridges, Satellite)
Bridge Hunter states "this structure contains more [seven] Warren through spans than any other in the state and with the now-stationary swing span is probably the longest such bridge in Indiana."

20170107 7531rc, upstream elevation
The third fixed span on the right side is obscured by the trees

Indiana Department of Transportation from Bridge Hunter, I can tell by the smoke stacks that this would be the downstream elevation
The now fixed center swing span is a reminder that steamboats used to travel on the Wabash river. Before railroads were developed, steamboats were the major source of transportation and why the initial settlement of Illinois and Indiana was in the south. (The state capital of Illinois kept moving north from the first capital in Kaskaskia. In 1820 it moved to what became Vandalia, 80 miles up the Kaskaskia River. On February 25, 1837 the General Assembly voted to relocate to Springfield. Likewise, Indiana's territorial capital was on the major river on the west side of the state --- Vincennes. The capital was moved to Corydon in 1813 to be closer to the center of its population. The capital moved to Indianapolis in 1825.)


This closeup view shows the tree line that exists along most of the river side road. I was fortunate to find a gap in the treeline so that I could take the above pictures.


I scared a heron off the shore. I tried taking another picture of the bird, but failed. However, that picture did include the only shot I got of all three fixed spans on the right side of the bridge. It is a good thing I was taking pictures in the Winter or I would have never seen the third span.

When the road reaches the bridge, it turns left and goes along the approach trestle.

Bridge Hunter says the trestle is wood. But it looks like it has been rebuilt using a cement cap over steel supports. Note the number "180" on the side of the concrete cap of the left-most bent that does not have a tree in front of it. My wife noticed that they numbered every fifth bent.


The bridge is still used to deliver coal to the  Duke Energy Power Plant.

Michael Eads posted a Fall view of the bridge.

All of the pictures I took in this area are available in my reference blog.

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