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Old 07-01-2011, 08:48 PM   #28
rhino_adv OP
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Joined: Apr 2010
Location: central Illinois (Bloomington)
Oddometer: 632
Bolivia Road Bridge

Despite the predicted 110 degree heat index, I left home in S/E Tazewell county and headed south through Logan and Sangamon Counties to the Sangamon/Christian County line. I was looking for the Bolivia Road Bridge. This bridge is the oldest in Illinois to include a Parker through-truss span (named for the engineer C.H. Parker) that still serves vehicular traffic. Connecting the counties of Sangamon and Christian, this single-lane, steel-and-timber bridge was built in 1901. Located 20 miles southeast of Springfield, the Bolivia Road Bridge is one of eight remaining bridges in Illinois utilizing a Parker through-truss. Most others in the state have been replaced by bridges of reinforced concrete. Steel-truss bridges 110 years ago, when this bridge was constructed, were a common bridge type of the time and were known for their strength, relative lightness, and durability. The Bolivia Road Bridge is 622 feet in length and the portal bracings of the bridge display ornamental trim.
Sadly, In 2001, the Sangamon County Highway Department announced plans to replace it with a new concrete structure. Due to lack of funding, however, the bridge has not yet been demolished and replaced. Local advocates are working with county and state officials to preserve the bridge for cycling and pedestrian use. In the meantime, the bridge continues to deteriorate and may risk closure. This magnificent piece of turn of the century architecture may soon be no more than a side note in the history books. If you want to view it for your self you can at N3946'03" , W8920'44"

This amazing bridge is over 620 feet long! It is hard to show the size with just photos, so I made a short video clip which I hope will present a better idea of its actual length. I apologise for the poor video quality. I really need a better camera!

I traveled 189 miles today and photographed 5 bridges. I will post the others in a few days after I research them.

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