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Statewide Endangered

2011 Ten Most Endangered Historic Places 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bolivia Road Bridge

North Fork, Sangamon River,
(Christian and Sangamon counties)

 

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. 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.
 
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  Most others in the state have been replaced by bridges of reinforced concrete.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 and finials at the corners.
 
The bridge was cited in the Illinois Department of Transportationís (IDOT) 1994 historic bridge survey, and was featured on the cover of IDOTís 2001-02 state highway map.  The bridge was successfully nominated for listing in the National Register of Historic Places in 2003. 
 
The Sangamon County Historic Preservation Commission has recently worked with the Sangamon County Highway Department to find a recreational use for the bridge.  The two entities are gaining assistance from IDOT and the state Department of Natural Resources toward this effort.
 

What You Can Do

 

To help with this effort, contact Jerry Jacobson, Sangamon County Historic Preservation Commission at jake@springnet1.com.
 

Additional Links

 

State Journal-Register
April 7, 2011

Historic Bridges of Illinois

bridgehunter.com

worldlingo.com

dot.il.gov

National Register of Historic Places

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

Landmarks Illinois
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