BNSF River Street Bridge

Concrete Girder Bridge over River Street
Aurora, Kane County, Illinois

Click the Photo Above to See All Photos of This Bridge!
Name BNSF River Street Bridge
Built By Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad
Contractor Unknown
Currently Owned By BNSF Railway
Length 90 Feet Total, 35 Foot Main Spans
Width 4 Tracks
Height Above Ground 20 Feet (Estimated)
Superstructure Type Concrete Girder and Slab
Substructure Type Concrete
Date Built 1920
Traffic Count 65 Trains/Day (Estimated)
Current Status In Use
BNSF Bridge Number 38.48
Significance Minimal Significance
Documentation Date March 2022
In 1852, the Chicago & Aurora Railroad built a mainline between Mendota, Illinois and Aurora, Illinois.
At Aurora, the line connected to other railroads, which branched in all directions.

At the same time, the Central Military Tract Railroad built a line from Mendota, to Galesburg. This additional line would lay the groundwork of a series of western lines into Iowa and Missouri.

Both railroads became part of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad in 1855.

The CB&Q used Aurora as a hub, with other rail lines coming in and out.

This line cut across mostly rural land, going through small towns along the way.
The line was also important, and was double tracked very quickly. By 1868, the line was double tracked between Chicago and Mendota.

The remainder of the line was double tracked in sections, mostly in the 1880s.

The line was critical to the CB&Q. By 1970, the CB&Q was merged into Burlington Northern, along with the Great Northern and Northern Pacific.
BN continued to operate the line until 1996, when they merged with Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe to form BNSF Railway.

BNSF currently operates this as their Mendota Subdivision. It sees a steady traffic base, and carries Amtrak.

Located in Aurora, this slab bridge crosses River Street near the Fox River.
Built in 1920 as the CB&Q realigned through the area, the bridge features four concrete spans, set onto concrete substructures and run at a significant skew. The center two spans are constructed of concrete deck girders, while the end spans are concrete slabs. Bridges such as this were common for 1920s era grade separations.
Overall, the bridge appears to be in fair condition, with some spalling found throughout the bridge.

The author has ranked this bridge as being minimally significant, due to the common design.
The photo above is an overview.


Source Type


Build Date Relocation of tracks
Railroad Line History Source ICC Valuation Information, Compiled by Richard S. Steele

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