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John A. Weeks III
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Highways, Byways, And Bridge Photography
Murray Baker Bridge
Illinois River Highway Crossing
Peoria, IL

Murray Baker Bridge

• Structure ID: NBI 000090000119656
• Location: River Mile 162.8
• River Elevation: 440 Feet
• Highway: I-74
• Daily Traffic Count: 62,100 (2003)
• Bridge Type: Steel Truss Through Deck, Twin Parallel Spans
• Bridge Length: 3,036 Feet, 600 Foot Longest Span
• Bridge Width: 55 Feet, 4 Lanes
• Navigation Channel Width: 500 Feet
• Height Above Water: 66 Feet
• Date Built: 1958
The Murray Baker Bridge was built to carry I-74 across the Illinois River near downtown, Peoria. The Interstate highway was known for having a lot of substandard entrances and exits. In fact, it was dangerous enough that trucks were eventually requested to avoid the highway in favor of I-474. A project to rehabilitate I-74 ran during the mid-2000s. The signature accomplishment of this project was to amputate 180 feet from the north end of the bridge to make room to add entrance and exit ramps for an interchange near the riverfront. This feat had never been attempted before on a major truss bridge. The resulting I-74 highway is a dramatic improvement from the old highway.

The bridge itself is a landmark structure in the Peoria area. It is a very large truss structure, world class in length. It features four interior piers, which means that it has four peaks in the structure. Despite being such a large structure, it only has room for 4 lanes of traffic without shoulders. This puts the bridge in a class where it is not officially up to Interstate highway standards.

Murray Baker is an Illinois native who was instrumental in getting the two companies (Holt and C.L. Best) who later merged to form Caterpillar to move to Peoria. Baker became Vice President and Director of Sales for Caterpillar and later served on the Board of Directors.


Murray Baker Bridge
Murray Baker Bridge
Murray Baker Bridge
Murray Baker Bridge
Murray Baker Bridge
Murray Baker Bridge
Murray Baker Bridge

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