Tuesday, March 26, 2019

IL-104 Bridges over Illinois River at Merdosia, IL

(1936 Bridge Hunter; 2018 Bridge Hunter; Historic Bridges; John A. Weeks III; Satellite)

While researching a Wabash Railroad bridge, I discovered that I have missed an opportunity to photograph a cantilever-looking truss bridge. (According to Historic Bridges, it is a continuous truss bridge.) It has been replaced with a tied-arch bridge.

John Weeks III
An IDOT video of the truss bridge that also shows several coal barges docked at the coal plant. I don't know the date of the video, but the generating station was burning coal instead of natural gas as of that date.

Bridge Hunter
Street View, old
Street View, new
Note that the concrete deck has been removed from the old bridge so that only steel will fall into the river when they blow it up.
They built the arch over the river using falsework rather than building it on the side of the river and then floating it into position.


Video of "energetic felling" of the town side approach span starting at 0:37

(new window)

Since the satellite views will be changing, I grabbed some images. In 2010, IDOT was still debating about building the bridge south of the town with a bypass for IL-104 around the town or keeping the highway in town. Obviously, they decided to keep IL-104 in the town. According to Google Earth, these images are from Aug, 2015.
They have bought properties and demolished the buildings to make room for the new right-of-way to the new bridge.
Google Earth, Jul 2012

They have erected a crane (upper-right corner) that is ready to walk across the access road when it is done. And they have driven the piles for a cofferdam near the bottom of the photo.

The city of Meredosia is famous as being one of the first cities in the United States to have a railroad line. The Northern Cross line started in 1838, and was one of the first 3 operating steam railroads in the US. There is a depot and caboose preserved as part of a small museum a few blocks south of IL-104. [John Weeks]

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