Abandoned, never used US 50 bridge

Abandoned, never used bridge
Kodak Z730 Zoom

Here’s my friend Michael standing on the railing of a bridge built to carry US 50 that was never used.

Three such bridges were built, actually. A new section of US 50 was built from Carlyle, Illinois, west for about 22 miles. It was intended to carry four lanes of traffic, divided, but only two lanes were built along most of this span. However, twin bridges were built everywhere US 50 crossed a stream. In each case, only the northern bridge of each pair has ever carried traffic. The southern bridge was simply left to molder.


6 responses to “single frame: Abandoned, never used bridge”

  1. Roger Meade Avatar
    Roger Meade

    That reminds me of a similar thing that happened in 1976 when Congress formed Conrail out of the wreckage of the Penn-Central and several other mid-western and eastern railroads.
    There was a crossing in downtown Rochester, Michigan that had been a tire and shock wrecker for years. P-C never had the money to repair it properly. In March of 1976, using a government grant, the old wooden crossing was replaced with a nice hard rubber crossing- smooth and sturdy. In April, Conrail came into being, that rail line was abandoned, and later that summer the rails were removed and the crossing paved over. The right hand did not know what the left hand was doing.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar


  2. Yoshimiparis Photographie Avatar

    interesting image and beautiful angle of view

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      why thank you!

  3. Greg Asman Avatar
    Greg Asman

    I took a look at the bridges you mentioned; not only were the bridges built, there were several grade-separated crossings planned where they had purchased the right of way and there are a few of them built where bridges that overpassed US-50 had two spans with one carrying the road over US-50 and the other over, well nothing but the right-of-way… It look like the process of “twinning” US-50 was shelved just before they paved the 2nd set of lanes.. I looked at a 1985 USGS Map of the area and the new US-50 isn’t on it so this was a fairly recent project…

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I had made some assumptions about the date of this project based on thin research I did earlier but your comment sent me down a research rabbit hole. This new alignment doesn’t show up on Illinois highway maps until 1987! But the first mention of it as a project showed up on (only) the 1975 map as under construction. 12 years seems like far too long for that project. It didn’t show up on any of the maps 1976-1986 however. Weird.

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