On May 25, 2009, my longtime friend Michael and I drove to Vincennes, Indiana, crossed over into Illinois over the Lincoln Memorial Bridge, and explored US 50 and its old alignments until we ran out of energy for the day.
I wrote a full report on my old HTML site here. But I wrote about it in parallel on this blog, the first road trip to get that treatment. The HTML site had more information on it, so I’ve updated the posts here with that info and enlarged the photos. Here are the posts:
- Where Lincoln first entered Illinois — Abe Lincoln’s family moved to Illinois from Indiana, crossing over the Wabash River at Vincennes at about the place where US 50 would eventually go.
- Three abandoned bridges in a row — An old alignment of US 50 runs right alongside the current alignment for several miles in eastern Illinois. Three steel-truss bridges still stood on the old road when we made our trip.
- The General Dean Bridge — A suspension bridge serves pedestrians today in Carlyle, Illinois. It is the original alignment of the road that was made into US 50.
- What if they built a bridge and nobody ever drove on it? — US 50 was to be widened to four lanes, divided. The project was cancelled, but after several bridges were built that then were never used to carry traffic.