|Bridge Name||Facility Carried / Feature Intersected||Location||Structure Type||Construction Date and Builder/Engineer|
Iroquois 1700 Bridge
|Iroquois 1700 Over Spring Creek||Rural: Iroquois County, Illinois||Metal 7 Panel Pin-Connected Pratt Through Truss, Fixed||1898 By Builder/Contractor: Unknown|
|Main Span Length||Structure Length||Roadway Width||Main Spans||NBI Number|
|118.4 Feet (36.1 Meters)||120.4 Feet (36.7 Meters)||16 Feet (4.9 Meters)||1||38403809122|
This is one of the more vehicle accident-damaged truss bridges that has been found still standing. It appears that an eastbound vehicle lost control and crashed into a vertical member on the north truss, detaching and sending it crashing into the river, and also severely bending and cracking the another vertical. Whoever did this should count their blessings that this sturdy bridge held up and didn't collapse on them. This proves that even so-called "fracture critical" bridges like this bridge that are supposed to completely collapse when a single member fails can still stand with missing members, at least long enough to safely get involved people and vehicles off the bridge.
The vertical member knocked off the bridge was still visible in the water below the bridge. It looked like it ripped off clean, meaning rather then bending other parts of the bridge up, the rivets holding the vertical member to the chords popped, leaving behind the pin plate, and thus leaving the integrity of the pin and associated connection intact. This sort of problem could actually have been corrected through rehabilitation, by simply replacing the damaged members. This likely would have cost less than it did to demolish and replace this historic bridge with an ugly slab of concrete.
There is no excuse for whoever wrecked this bridge, and they or their insurance company should have been held accountable and been required to repair the bridge with attention paid to historic integrity. Whoever damaged this bridge essentially vandalized public property (and historic at that) that was serving a useful function and because of their careless driving the bridge was put out of commission. If people would just show some respect for these bridges that have stood for over a century, and carry motorized vehicles that weren't even invented when many of these bridges were built, then accidents on bridges wouldn't happen. And if accidents do happen, intentional or otherwise, the person who damaged the bridge should have to pay up. Instead, taxpayer dollars were used to demolish and replace this bridge with a wide, two-lane bridge. One lane bridges should not have to be demolished because of incompetent drivers. The one lane bridge bridge wasn't the problem, the driver was. People incapable of safely driving their vehicles over a one lane bridge should not be on the road. Giving these drivers a new bridge wide enough to contain their incompetence does not solve the problem.
Along with blind-sighted county engineers demolishing historic truss bridges that could be rehabilitated instead, historic bridge enthusiasts have to deal with overweight trucks and out-of-control motorists ruining them as well. There are plenty of ugly modern slab bridges out there, and if people want to drive like maniacs and get themselves killed, if would be nice if they would go do it on a road without a historic truss bridge on it. There is no way anyone could rip an entire vertical member off a truss bridge like this if they were driving an appropriate speed for crossing a truss bridge like this (10mph).
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