Holidays are here so time for exploring. We’re finally taking time to get out, see some of the sights, and start connecting with our neighborhood.
The last image is of a stone arch bridge over Turtle Creek just east of Beloit, WI. It was built just after the Civil War by a rail company to connect the Lake Michigan towns with the Mississippi and Missouri River cities, with a terminus in Council Bluffs, IA. The rail line eventually became one of the first legs of the transcontinental railroad, along with the Union Pacific and Central Pacific routes. According to all the history I could find, this is the only bridge of its type remaining in the US. The design is patterned after Roman viaducts built in France. The concrete reinforcement visible under the arch stones was installed as the weight of trains increased beyond the capacity of the stones alone. Otherwise this is the original bridge, still in service today.