Historic Camelback Bridge

Historic Camelback Bridge (HM13F7)

Location: Normal, IL 60915 McLean County
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Country: United States of America
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N 40° 29.903', W 88° 59.001'

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The town of Normal was created at the junction of the Illinois Central and the Chicago and Alton Railroads. The Camelback Bridge is the last surviving structure in Normal associated with the railroad. Its location was chosen because here the railroad builders had been forced to excavate a deep cut through the crest of the Normal Moraine. Even so, the bridge had to be built with a distinctive "camelback" shape in order to permit early wood burning locomotives, with their tall stacks, to pass under the bridge.
The first bridge in this location was made entirely of wood. About 1904 that bridge was replaced with this distinctive kingpost structure. The columns which now support the bridge were salvaged from another Illinois Central rail bridge which once crossed the Illinois River.
These columns were cast at the nationally famous Phoenix Foundry in Pennsylvania which gained acclaim in the Civil War by producing cannons for the Union army.
The bridge is a remarkable and unique survivor of Illinois' most famous early railroad. It is the only known example of this type of bridge remaining in the state.
With the opening of Constitution Trail in 1988, the bridge became the trail's most noteworthy landmark. In 1997 the Cambelback Bridge was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This historic bridge was rehabilitated by the Town of Normal in 2001.
HM NumberHM13F7
Year Placed2001
Placed ByFriends of the Bridge and the Town of Normal
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 at 7:22pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)16T E 331933 N 4484964
Decimal Degrees40.49838333, -88.98335000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 40° 29.903', W 88° 59.001'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds40° 29' 54.18" N, 88° 59' 0.06" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)815
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 396 Constitution Trail, Normal IL 60915, US
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