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Aux Sable Creek Aqueduct

   
                  


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Bridge Documented: May 8, 2010
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Key Facts
Bridge Name Facility Carried / Feature Intersected Location Structure Type Construction Date and Builder/Engineer
Aux Sable Creek Aqueduct
Illinois and Michigan Canal Over Aux Sable Creek Rural: Grundy County, Illinois Metal Through Girder, Fixed 1927 By Builder/Contractor: Unknown
Technical Facts
Rehabilitation Date Main Spans
1948 3

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth and Rick McOmber

View Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) Documentation For This Bridge

HAER Data Pages, PDF

This is one of the most impressive and striking features of the historic Illinois and Michigan Canal, which is  designated a National Heritage Corridor. It is an aqueduct that carries the canal over a creek, in other words a bridge carrying water over water. Aqueducts like this were a fact of life in canal construction, but surviving functional examples, particularly in the United States that also retain good historic integrity are rare today. The Fox River Aqueduct also on the Illinois and Michigan Canal is a larger aqueduct, but it no longer carries water, and thus the Aux Sable Creek Aqueduct is a rare chance to see one of the canal's aqueducts function in the way it was originally intended.

The riveted through plate girder aqueduct was built in 1927 to replace a timber structure that had been built in 1848. It appears that the existing 1927 structure reused the 1848 substructure. The piers were extensively repaired in 1948, and a parallel towpath bridge was removed in 1960. Historic American Engineering Record documented the structure in 1986, and at that time the piers had fallen into severe disrepair, with numerous stones missing. Sometime after that date, the piers were extensively rehabilitated and reconstructed with stone in a historically sensitive manner. The superstructure may have been repainted at that time but otherwise it remains in good condition in an unaltered state. A wooden deck arch bridge was also integrated into the piers on the south side of the bridge. HistoricBridges.org did not document this structure, but it may be an attempt to replicate either the towpath bridge or the removed original aqueduct.

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Photos and Videos: Aux Sable Creek Aqueduct

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