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Highways, Byways, And Bridge Photography
Texas-Illinois Natural Gas Pipeline Bridge
Texas-Illinois Natural Gas Pipeline Mississippi River Crossing At Grand Tower
Grand Tower, Illinois

Texas-Illinois Pipeline Bridge

• Structure ID:  
• Location: River Mile 80.9.
• River Elevation: 335 Feet.
• Structure: Natural Gas Pipeline.
• Bridge Type: Pure Suspension.
• Length: 2,161.5 Feet.
• Width: 2 Each 30-Inch Pipes.
• Navigation Channel Width: 1,500 Feet (Estimated).
• Height Above Water: 110 Feet (Estimated).
• Date Built: June 17, 1955.
The Texas-Illinois Natural Gas Pipeline carries natural gas to the Midwest supplying much of the needs of Chicago and Detroit. This bridge is a pure suspension bridge, which has the main load carrying cables supported by two towers, and the load itself is supported by vertical cables hanging down from the main cables. This is reported to be the longest suspension pipeline bridge in the world, but I have seen no data to prove that assertion.

The Texas-Illinois Pipeline bridge is unusual in that the pipeline emerges from underground at the base of each tower. That means that the pipeline is supported by the bridge only over the main span between the two towers. The side spans do not support the river crossing. Another unusual feature are the outrigger wings on each tower. These wings each support a cable that runs on either side of the pipelines. They serve to support the pipeline from moving horizontally.

A sign at the bridge warns people to stay off of the bridge after sunset. That seems to indicate that the operator once allowed pedestrians to cross the river using the catwalk. That would be impossible today given the chain link fence and concertina wire installed around the base of the bridge.

The photo above is a profile view of the pipeline bridge as seen from the eastern shore of the Mississippi River about a half-mile downstream. The photo below is the tower on the west side of the river as seen from the edge of the east side of the Mississippi River. The tower stands 245 feet tall. The horizontal wings span 225 from tip to tip.

Texas-Illinois Pipeline Bridge
Texas-Illinois Pipeline Bridge
These two photos are views of the eastern of the two bridge towers. The photo above is the area inside the security fence. The photo below is looking west across the Mississippi River. The tower on the far side of the river is visible in the distance. The large block is an anchor for the suspension cables. The strands of the cable fan out starting at the smaller tower near the anchor, then go inside the anchor block.

Texas-Illinois Pipeline Bridge

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