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Highways, Byways, And Bridge Photography
Beardstown Bridge
Illinois River Highway Crossing
Beardstown, IL

Beardstown Bridge

• Structure ID: NBI 000009000101961
• Location: River Mile 87.9
• River Elevation: 430 Feet
• Highways: US-67, IL-100
• Daily Traffic Count: 6,600 (2005)
• Bridge Type: Steel Truss Through Deck
• Bridge Length: 3,624 Feet, 540 Foot Longest Span
• Bridge Width: 28 Feet, 2 Lanes
• Navigation Channel Width: 526 Feet
• Height Above Water: 68 Feet
• Date Built: Built 1955, Reconstructed 1985
Beardstown was one of the earlier cities to be settled in Illinois. It was bigger than Chicago for several decades. The city was nicknamed Porkopolis due to the large pig yards and slaughterhouse operations. That trade shifted to Chicago when the railroad arrived in 1859. Beardstown was also a major hub of riverboat traffic, but that also diminished when passenger service was offered by the railroads.

A toll ferry crossed the Illinois river under a city license. That ferry ran until 1888, when a new private wooden toll bridge opened. A steel toll bridge was built by the city and opened in 1898. That bridge produced revenue for the city until 1955, when a new highway bridge was built in the mid-1950s to give highway US-67 a bypass route around the downtown area.

The Beardstown Bridge is one massive bridge, something that would only be expected on the lower Mississippi or other similarly large river. The main bridge is a through truss span about 1,365 feet long, with a 540 foot main span for navigation traffic. It rises nearly 70 feet above the water to the low steel line. To the north, there is a second through truss bridge about 710 feet long. A 1,000 foot long trestle crosses a backwater slough to the north, and a 500 foot steel deck truss bridge spans a creek on the south end. The overall river crossing is 2/3 of a mile.

As of 2007, the Illinois Department of Transportation is working to upgrade the US-67 corridor to be 4-lanes from the Quad Cities to Saint Louis. This will include a new US-67 bridge over the Illinois River at Beardstown. While the alignment and bridge type have not been selected, money has been approved to spend on a study, and the Illinois DOT plans to have the project completed by 2013.

Beardstown Bridge
Beardstown Bridge
Beardstown Bridge
Beardstown Bridge

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