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John A. Weeks III
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Highways, Byways, And Bridge Photography

The Bridges And Structures
Of The Illinois River

First Edition — July 2008

Illinois River

La Salle To Joliet
Peoria To Peru
Beardstown To Pekin
Grafton To LaGrange
This is my third installment detailing the bridges and structures of a great American river. In this survey, we visit the bridges, locks, and dams on the Illinois River between its confluence with the Mississippi River to the formation of the Illinois River at the junction of the Des Plains and Kankakee Rivers on the southwest side of the Chicago metro area. The Illinois Waterway was once the major route for goods to flow from the Great Lakes to international markets via the Mississippi River. Both the railroads and the Saint Lawrence Seaway caused traffic on the Illinois Waterway to drop off. Today, the waterway is still regionally important as a water highway for farm goods and petrochemical products.

The Illinois River is noted for having a concentration of big metal monster bridges. While the big metal monsters on the Mississippi are being replaced by modern bridges, the state of Illinois has elected to rebuild and refurbish their steel truss bridges. The result is a number of large and unique truss bridges that are like new and have long lives yet to stand and carry traffic over the Illinois River.

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Authored by John A. Weeks III, Copyright © 1996—2016, all rights reserved.
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