Old Route 3 Bridge — Gale, Illinois

This truss bridge carries old Illinois state route 3 over Sexton Creek near the community of Gale in northern Alexander County, Illinois.

Old Gale Bridge -- Alexander County, Illinois
The bridge was constructed in 1933 and bypassed by the reconstruction of state route 3 to the west in 1990.
Old Gale Bridge -- Alexander County, Illinois
The bridge is 337 feet long and 23 feet wide. It was rehabilitated in 2011
Old Gale Bridge -- Alexander County, Illinois
This bridge is elegible to be considered to be placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Cairo-Mississippi River Bridge

Cairo-Mississippi River Bridge The Cairo-Mississippi River bridge was constructed in 1929 and carries US 60 and US 62 from Cairo Illinois across the Mississippi River to a point in Missouri just north of the town of Charleston. The bridge is 5,175 feet long. Cairo-Mississippi River Bridge
he bridge originated as a toll bridge in 1929, constructed by the American Bridge Company and the Missouri Valley Bridge & Iron Company. Traveling downstream, the Cairo Mississippi River Bridge is the southernmost crossing of the Mississippi River prior to its confluence with the Ohio River and lies just 2000 feet west of the mouth of the Ohio.
Cairo-Mississippi River Bridge Many people have pondered the question if the construction of the two Cairo River bridges played a role in the town’s demise. In the years since the construction of the two bridges, the town of Cairo has experienced an 81% population decline (1930 to 2010), the most dramatic decrease of any principal city in the United States. The bridges initially played a part in the town’s demise as the ferry and railroad industries were severely impacted. In 1978, the Cairo I-57 Bridge was completed less than five miles upstream, bypassing Cairo and contributing to its further decline. DSCN0290

Cairo-Ohio River Bridge

The Cairo-Ohio River Bridge carries US 51, 60 and 62 across the Ohio River from Wickliffe, Kentucky to Cairo, Illinois.
The Cairo Ohio River Bridge Of all the Ohio River crossings, it is the furthest downstream; the Mississippi River can be seen while crossing the bridge and looking westward. The Cairo Ohio River Bridge
The Cairo Ohio River Bridge Construction was awarded to Modjeski and Masters and the Mt. Vernon Bridge Company. It was finished in 1937 and rehabilitated in 1979. The bridge spans 5,863 feet and is 20 feet wide. DSCN0264
Today the Cairo Ohio River Bridge is eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.

The L&N Open Truss Train Bridge in Cawood Has Left The Building

abandoned railroad bridge//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js
It’s always a shock when you are driving along a road that you’ve traveled your entire life and all of the sudden a huge landmark is completely missing. That’s what happened to me today as I drove past Cawood. I looked over, like I always have, to peer at the rusty trusses of the old railroad bridge that crossed the river. They werent there. The bridge is gone. I had to turn around and drive down the lane to where you could access the bridge and sure enough, the bridge was completely gone.
Site of truss railroad bridge -- Cawood, KY//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js
Of course, what blog entry would be complete without a little history lesson. So for those of you interested, here goes. This bridge, as well as the one at Neff was built by the American Bridge Company in 1910. This rail line remained active well into the 1980s. Once it was abandoned the bridge was retrofitted as a pedestrian bridge to carry foot traffic to a community park. I remember an article in the paper last year where the county wanted the railroad company to sign the bridge over to the county or they would abandon it or something to that effect. Apparently the two couldnt come to an agreement.
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These truss bridges are quickly becoming a very rare find. I hate to see another one go, especially so close to home.

Big Four Bridge — Louisville, Kentucky

The Big Four Bridge was first conceived in Jeffersonville in 1885 by various city interests. The Louisville and Jeffersonville Bridge Company was formed in 1887 to construct the Big Four Bridge, after a charter by the state of Indiana; Kentucky also chartered the company in 1888. The riverboat industry, a big economic factor in Jeffersonville, had requested that the bridge be built further upstream from the Falls of the Ohio, but the United States Army Corps of Engineers approved the building site, even after the vocal protestations.

Louisville KY

Construction began on October 10, 1888. The Big Four Bridge would be the only Louisville bridge with serious accidents during its building; thirty-seven individuals died during its construction. The first twelve died while working on a pier foundation when a caisson that was supposed to hold back the river water flooded, drowning the workers. Another four men died a few months after that when a wooden beam broke while working on a different pier caisson.

Louisville, Kentucky

The Big Four Bridge had one of the biggest bridge disasters in the United States, occurring on December 15, 1893 when a construction crane was dislodged by a severe wind, causing the falsework support of a truss to be damaged and the truss—with forty-one workers on it—to fall into the Ohio River. Twenty of the workers survived, but twenty-one died. The accident almost cost more lives, as a ferry crossing the Ohio River just barely missed being hit by the truss. Hours later, a span next to the damaged span also fell into the river, but was unoccupied at the time, causing no injuries. As a result, falsework was longitudely reinforced to prevent further occurrences, and also to prevent strong winds from causing similar damage by using special bracing on the bottom frame of the truss. Also, a new rule was enforced: “never trust a bolted joint any longer than is necessary to put a riveted one in place”.

The Big Four Bridge was finally completed in September 1895. Because of the location of the bridge and the growth of the Kennedy Interchange, the interchange had to avoid the columns that were on the approach to the bridge, causing the interchange to have several two-lane ramps rather than a single stretch of highway, and helped earn the nickname Spaghetti Junction. Due to the various accidents, the Louisville and Jeffersonville Bridge Company was financially strapped after building the bridge, and later in 1895 sold it to the Indianapolis-based Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis Railway, also known as the Big Four Railroad. This gave the railway its first entry into the Louisville market, although the railroad would have likely used the bridge even if they had not bought it, as they desired access to Louisville.

The bridge is now used just for pedestrian traffic.

Elizabethton Covered Bridge — Carter County, Tennessee

The Elizabethton Covered Bridge was constructed in 1882 and connects 3rd Street and Hattie Avenue in the Carter County Tennessee town.
Elizabethton, Tennessee The bridge spans 134 feet across the Doe River, a tributary of the Watauga River. Elizabethton, Tennessee
As the county seat, Elizabethton grew throughout the 19th century. However, Lynn Mountain hemmed it in to the east and the Watauga River lay to the north. The Doe River flooded often and limited growth to the south. To span westward, to the site of the current downtown, the city would need a bridge over the Doe River. After extensive debate, in 1882 the Carter County Court approved $3,000 for the bridge and $300 for approaches. The court appointed a committee to select a site for the bridge. However, the committee encountered an unexpected problem — the men could not find a qualified contractor to erect the bridge.
Elizabethton, Tennessee After county officials were unable to find a bridge contractor, a local doctor, E.E. Hunter, accepted the contract and hired experienced people to work on the bridge. Hunter selected Thomas Matson, who had been an engineer for the narrow gauge Tweetsie Railroad as an engineer and architect. Hunter referred to the bridge as his “five dollar bridge” since he made a profit of $5 as contractor. Elizabethton, Tennessee
Although logs from a lumber operation and a barn were thrown against the covered bridge and its supports during a disastrous flood in 1901, this was the only major bridge in the area to survive.

The bridge and immediate area were added to the National Register of Historic Places as the Historic Elizabethton District on March 14, 1973.
Elizabethton, Tennessee Today the bridge is closed to all motor vehicle traffic but pedestrians and bike riders are welcome. In recent months the bridge and neighboring river front park has been a popular Pokestop for Pokemon Go players. Elizabethton, Tennessee

The Ironton-Russell Bridge

The Ironton-Russell Bridge is a metal truss bridge that connections the towns of Ironton, Ohio and Russell, Kentucky. This bridge opened in 1922 and was the first bridge to cross the Ohio River in this part of the tri state area (Kentucky, Ohio & West Virginia).

Ironton-Russell Bridge The bridge carries 2 traffic lanes and a sidewalk across the Ohio River. Ironton-Russell Bridge
In 2012 construction began on a replacement bridge just up stream from the current structure. When this new suspension / cable concrete structure is complete, the nearly 100 year old Ironton-Russell Bridge will be demolished.