Saturday, February 20, 2021

IL-16 Joe Page Bridge over Illinois River at Hardin, IL

(Bridge Hunter, includes construction photos; no Historic Bridges; John Weeks IIISatellite)

Built in 1931 and rebuilt in 2004.

It is rare in Illinois for a lift bridge to carry a road instead of a railroad. According to John Weeks, the daily traffic count in 2005 was 2,800. Even though that is low, that is high enough that the lift span would normally be down. This is the southern most bridge on the Illinois River. I scanned the river downstream from this bride and I did not see any docking facilities. Thus all of the barge traffic of the Illinois Waterway would pass under this bridge. So this lift span probably sees the most lifts in the state.

Street View

"Many sources state that this is the longest bridge [2,150'] in Illinois, and the lift span of 308 foot 9 inches is the longest lift span in the world. While there may be some category of bridge where it is (or was) the longest in the world, both the Arthur Kill and Cape Cod Canal bridges have longer lift spans at 558 feet and 544 feet long, respectively....One of the challenging parts of the construction was replacing the lift cables and pulleys. This required that the bridge remain in the down position for 23 days in August and September of 2003. Barge traffic continued to flow by using tow boats to hand barges off under the lowered lift span of the bridge." [John Weeks] 

Kathy Martin posted, cropped
Joe Page bridge in Hardin Illinois

In terms of it being the longest bridge, I had noticed that there are some spans over trees on the east side. This is another example of the importance of bridging the flood plain as well as the channel. (This tow shows how a tanker barge is larger than a normal barge.)

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