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John A. Weeks III
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Highways, Byways, And Bridge Photography
John T. McNaughton Bridge
Illinois River Highway Crossing
Pekin, IL

John T. McNaughton Bridge

• Structure ID: NBI 000090011405432
• Location: River Mile 152.9
• River Elevation: 430 Feet
• Highway: IL-9
• Daily Traffic Count: 13,900 (2005)
• Bridge Type: Steel Girder
• Bridge Length: 2,634 Feet, 550 Foot Longest Span
• Bridge Width: 78 Feet, 4 Lanes
• Navigation Channel Width: 430 Feet
• Height Above Water: 72 Feet
• Date Built: 1982
The Pekin Bridge is the southern-most highway crossing in the Peoria metro area. The old bridge was a steel truss with a movable span to allow river navigation to pass. The new bridge is a thin graceful steel girder bridge. The bridge spans the river, but lands on the flood plain on each end of the structure. To gain the 75 feet of clearance required for navigation, the bridge has very steep approaches. The city of Pekin has developed a very nice park along the riverfront just south of the McNaughton Bridge. This park offers nice views of the bridge as well as watching boat activity on the Illinois River.

John T. McNaughton had just been appointed Secretary Of The Navy in 1967 when the Boeing 727 that he was flying on (along with his wife and one son) collided with a smaller Cessna airplane just after departing from Asheville, North Carolina. McNaughton was a native of Pekin. He served in WWII. He went to law school after the war, advancing to become a professor of law at Harvard. He was a close adviser to Robert McNamara. McNaughton planned the Rolling Thunder bombing campaign and developed the theory of Vietnamization. As a youth, McNaughton often walked across the old Pekin Bridge, so it was fitting that the new Pekin Bridge was named in his honor.


John T. McNaughton Bridge
John T. McNaughton Bridge
John T. McNaughton Bridge
John T. McNaughton Bridge
John T. McNaughton Bridge

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