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CA&E bridge in Wheaton

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  • David Koyzis
    Here s something from the Daily Herald: Illinois Prairie Path bridge to mark 100 years of service. David Koyzis
    Message 1 of 9 , Nov 1, 2007
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      Here’s something from the Daily Herald: Illinois Prairie Path bridge to mark 100 years of service.

       

      David Koyzis

       

      _________________________

       

      llinois Prairie Path bridge to mark 100 years of service

      By Hafsa Naz Mahmood | Daily Herald Staff

       

      A quarter century ago, several dozen Illinois Prairie Path volunteers united to restore a Wheaton bridge.

      Sunday, champions of the Illinois Prairie Path will celebrate Volunteer Bridge's 100th anniversary.

      At the annual meeting of the not-for-profit organization's board of directors, Jean and Paul Mooring of Glen Ellyn will remind others about the history of the overpass at Carlton Street and Liberty Drive.

      "(The bridge) was extremely important to the Prairie Path because it connected all three of the main sections of the paths," Jean Mooring said. "By restoring the bridge, we eliminated a very dangerous portion of the path right there in the middle of Wheaton where we had to cross city streets all the time."

      The bridge is where the Aurora and Elgin branches meet the main stem of the popular walking and biking trail.

      In 1983, a local engineer organized a group of volunteers to work on the historic bridge over the Union Pacific railroad in downtown Wheaton. Over the course of about a year, residents used steel and wood to fix up the bridge. With almost all materials donated, the construction cost about $25,000 for a project that would have otherwise cost $250,000.

      DuPage County officials plan to widen the Prairie Path portion of the bridge next year.

      "We're just so proud of ourselves for doing this," Mooring said. "Nobody can believe that ordinary people actually did this."

      Wheaton's Director of Engineering Paul Redman said the project that involves raising and widening the Prairie Path at Volunteer Bridge and another bridge located at Wesley and Manchester will go out to bid in the spring and begin soon after. The county expects to pay about $875,000 to complete the project.

      If you go

      What: Illinois Prairie Path's annual board meeting

      When: 2 p.m. Sunday

      Where: Lombard Community Building, 433 E. St. Charles Road, Lombard

      Cost: Free

      Details: Visit www.ipp.org or call (630) 424-8851

       

    • thegreatthirdrail
      David Thanks for sharing this with people who might not otherwise have had a chance to see it. Now here s the question,, which is the more amazing fact, that
      Message 2 of 9 , Nov 1, 2007
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        David
        Thanks for sharing this with people who might not otherwise have had a
        chance to see it.

        Now here's the question,, which is the more amazing fact, that the
        bridge has been up for a century, that the CA&E has been basically gone
        for 1/2 a century, or that it's been a quarter century since it was
        restored for use on the Prairie Path ?

        Time flies when you're having fun I guess.............
      • Tom Thomas
        What IS amazing is that I ve been around to personally witness the latter two events...the demise of the CA&E and the reopening of the restored bridge. Tom
        Message 3 of 9 , Nov 1, 2007
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          What IS amazing is that I've been around to personally witness the latter two events...the demise of the CA&E and the reopening of the restored bridge.
           
          Tom Thomas

          ----- Original Message ----
          From: thegreatthirdrail <thegreatthirdrail@...>
          To: thegreatthirdrail@yahoogroups.com
          Sent: Thursday, November 1, 2007 3:34:52 PM
          Subject: [thegreatthirdrail] Re: CA&E bridge in Wheaton

          David
          Thanks for sharing this with people who might not otherwise have had a
          chance to see it.

          Now here's the question,, which is the more amazing fact, that the
          bridge has been up for a century, that the CA&E has been basically gone
          for 1/2 a century, or that it's been a quarter century since it was
          restored for use on the Prairie Path ?

          Time flies when you're having fun I guess....... ......



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        • Ray Cosyn
          What I find amazing is that this event is about very recent history. I admire the spunk of those volunteers who saved the bridge for future generations.
          Message 4 of 9 , Nov 1, 2007
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            What I find amazing is that this event is about very recent history. I admire the spunk of those volunteers who saved the bridge for future generations. However, the real story is the CA&E and the service it provided over that bridge. I can remember one early morning in the spring of 1956 when a young high school student, who had cut class of the day to photograph the "great Third Rail", waited patiently for the first train form Elgin to cross that bridge so that I could capture it on film for a life time of memories. Unfortunately I didn't get the bridge in the photo but I did get the car which is what really counted. It graces the wall of my office as I write this note.
            -----Original Message-----
            From: thegreatthirdrail@yahoogroups.com [mailto:thegreatthirdrail@yahoogroups.com]On Behalf Of Tom Thomas
            Sent: Thursday, November 01, 2007 2:20 PM
            To: thegreatthirdrail@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: Re: [thegreatthirdrail] Re: CA&E bridge in Wheaton

            What IS amazing is that I've been around to personally witness the latter two events...the demise of the CA&E and the reopening of the restored bridge.
             
            Tom Thomas

            ----- Original Message ----
            From: thegreatthirdrail <thegreatthirdrail@ yahoo.com>
            To: thegreatthirdrail@ yahoogroups. com
            Sent: Thursday, November 1, 2007 3:34:52 PM
            Subject: [thegreatthirdrail] Re: CA&E bridge in Wheaton

            David
            Thanks for sharing this with people who might not otherwise have had a
            chance to see it.

            Now here's the question,, which is the more amazing fact, that the
            bridge has been up for a century, that the CA&E has been basically gone
            for 1/2 a century, or that it's been a quarter century since it was
            restored for use on the Prairie Path ?

            Time flies when you're having fun I guess....... ......



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          • twtrains@aol.com
            In all sincerity I love the fact that all of you were out and about filming doomed railroads. Would you and your cowherds have more photo s of the
            Message 5 of 9 , Nov 1, 2007
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              In all sincerity I love the fact that all of you were out  and about filming doomed railroads.  Would you and your cowherds have more photo's of the structures and surroundings so that we could model the CA&E?




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            • glen brewer
              I m sure there must be lots more I too would love to see. We have seen some good ones from several contributors. Most of this group has already seen my four
              Message 6 of 9 , Nov 2, 2007
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                I'm sure there must be lots more I too would love to see. We have seen
                some good ones from several contributors.

                Most of this group has already seen my four page photos essay at:

                http://www.homestaydenver.com/cae

                or for the short version see:

                http://www.railroadphotoessays.com/forum/showthread.php?t=748

                Glen
              • Jim K.
                ... Glen: I just took a look at your photos! They are great! Although, the photos of lifeless cars in the Wheaton Yard and the cars tipped over and burned
                Message 7 of 9 , Nov 2, 2007
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                  > > Most of this group has already seen my four page photos essay at:

                  Glen:

                  I just took a look at your photos! They are great! Although, the photos
                  of lifeless cars in the Wheaton Yard and the cars tipped over and
                  burned really make me sad!

                  Thanks!

                  Jim K.
                • David Koyzis
                  Although I was born only two years before passenger service ended on the CA&E, the bridge over the C&NW tracks was very much a part of my childhood. Our family
                  Message 8 of 9 , Nov 2, 2007
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                    Although I was born only two years before passenger service ended on the CA&E, the bridge over the C&NW tracks was very much a part of my childhood. Our family moved to Childs Street in 1958. Because Childs Street did not yet go through to the east, we would generally go downtown Wheaton by driving up Woodlawn to Manchester Road, turning left onto Bridge Street over the C&NW tracks and then right on Front Street. We children somehow connected the Bridge Street bridge and the CA&E bridge, calling the first the “Big Daddy Bridge” and the latter the “Big Mommy Bridge.” I remember the scrapping operations and the removal of the north part of the bridge over Front and Wesley, as well as that over West Liberty Drive. Even then as a child I wished I had been able to experience the CA&E in action. I was just born a little too late for that.

                     

                    David

                     

                    -----Original Message-----
                    From:
                    thegreatthirdrail@yahoogroups.com [mailto:thegreatthirdrail@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of thegreatthirdrail
                    Sent: November 1, 2007 4:35 PM
                    To:
                    thegreatthirdrail@yahoogroups.com
                    Subject: [thegreatthirdrail] Re: CA&E bridge in Wheaton

                     

                    David
                    Thanks for sharing this with people who might not otherwise have had a
                    chance to see it.

                    Now here's the question,, which is the more amazing fact, that the
                    bridge has been up for a century, that the CA&E has been basically gone
                    for 1/2 a century, or that it's been a quarter century since it was
                    restored for use on the Prairie Path ?

                    Time flies when you're having fun I guess....... ......

                  • glen brewer
                    Thanks Jim, I felt that way too. I almost didn t take the photos, and I don t believe I ever returned to the yard after that day -- it was just too depressing.
                    Message 9 of 9 , Nov 2, 2007
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                      Thanks Jim,

                      I felt that way too. I almost didn't take the photos, and I don't
                      believe I ever returned to the yard after that day -- it was just too
                      depressing.

                      It was only then that I finally had to concede that it was all over
                      for the CA&E -- there was no longer any hope for a long discussed revival.

                      By the way, on Railroadphotoessays.com you may view several other
                      essays of mine including my ride on the Northshore.

                      Glen

                      --- In thegreatthirdrail@yahoogroups.com, "Jim K." <kidat50@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > > > Most of this group has already seen my four page photos essay at:
                      >
                      > Glen:
                      >
                      > I just took a look at your photos! They are great! Although, the photos
                      > of lifeless cars in the Wheaton Yard and the cars tipped over and
                      > burned really make me sad!
                      >
                      > Thanks!
                      >
                      > Jim K.
                      >
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