River Street Trail Bridge (Aurora)

Through Plate Girder Bridge over River Street
Aurora, Kane County, Illinois

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Name River Street Trail Bridge (Aurora)
Built By Elgin, Joliet & Eastern Railway
Contractor American Bridge Company of New York
Currently Owned By Kane County
Length 50 Feet Total
Width 1 Track
Height Above Ground 15 Feet (Estimated)
Superstructure Type Through Plate Girder
Substructure Type Stone Masonry
Date Built 1926
Traffic Count 0 Trains/Day (Bridge is a Trail)
Current Status Rails to Trails
EJ&E Bridge Number 421
Significance Local Significance
Documentation Date January 2022
In 1886, the Joliet Aurora & Northern Railway built a line extending from a point near Plainfield to Aurora, about 10 miles in length.

The branch line connected the existing line to Aurora. By 1888, the railroad would be merged into a new company called the Elgin, Joliet & Eastern Railway.

The original intent of the railroad was to connect Joliet, Illinois to a point on the Mississippi River at East Dubuque, Illinois.
However, this never happened. Instead, the EJ&E became synonymous as a beltway around Chicago.

However, the line only became so profitable. Unfortunately, it was abandoned in 1977.
However, significant segments around Aurora survive as the Virgil Gilman Nature Trail.

Located in Aurora, this through girder bridge crosses River Street.
Built in 1926 to replace a similar bridge, this bridge features a single through plate girder span, set onto older stone abutments.
These types of bridges were commonly used to cross roads, as they are durable and are easy to construct.
Overall, the bridge appears to be in good condition. It currently serves the Virgil Gilman Trail.

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


Source Type


Build Date American Bridge Company plaque
Contractor American Bridge Company plaque
Railroad Line History Source ICC Valuation Information, Compiled by Richard S. Steele

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