Thorn Creek Bridge, RIP, a set on Flickr.
It’s worth mourning when an old rail road bridge collapses. Bridges are special - so often they’re the focal point of a trail trip, the wonderful payoff. This one could have given Old Plank Road Trail users an amazing view of the archaeologically significant Thorn Creek in Chicago Heights, IL. We were out looking at the still-standing bridge just weeks ago. Pete Petrouski shot these pictures over this past weekend.
The Old Plank Road Trail extension into the Heights has to use short on-street connections to reach the planned Thorn Creek Trail. Both are part of the 450-mile Grand Illinois Trail.
We’re pretty sure you’d rather connect trail-to-trail, especially if you get to cross a creek 50’ in the air at tree top level. But bridges are expensive…
…unless you’re a bridge built by Forest Preserve District of Will Co. Their new bridge over Plum Creek at Goodenow Grove near Beecher, Ill. makes a similar crossing, was completed in just days, and cost the FPD of Will Co. less than $300,000.
Replacing the Thorn Creek bridge would daylight a lot of what’s beautiful and fascinating about the Thorn Creek corridor - its rich history of primitive settlements, its biodiversity, its importance for flood control in the Chicago Southland.
We can’t wait for the Old Plank Road Trail extension to be finished later this year. It’s a pleasant, easy & safe route in an interesting, historic neighborhood. But we also sure do like imagining ourselves above the creek, looking back into time, moving on.