Cairo Rail Bridge

Ranked #98 on the list Best Bridge of All Time

Based on 3 votes

About Cairo Rail Bridge

  • Body Of Water Spanned: Ohio River
  • Bridge Type: Truss bridge
  • Locale: Wickliffe

Cairo Rail Bridge is the name of two bridges crossing the Ohio River near Cairo, Illinois. The original was an 1889 George S. Morison through truss and deck truss bridge replaced by the current bridge in 1952. The second and current bridge is a through truss bridge that reused many of the original bridge piers. As of 2007, trains like the City of New Orleans travel over the Ohio River supported by the same piers whose construction began in 1887. On July 1, 1887 construction began on the first caisson for the foundations of the bridge piers. The first caisson descended into the riverbed at a rate of around 4 inches (100 mm) per day. Two men died and several more were seriously injured sealing the first caisson at a depth of 77 feet (23 m). Despite increased precautions following the deaths, a total of five men died of decompression sickness during construction. February 19, 1889 the last pier was completed. The first train crossed the bridge from Illinois to Kentucky on October 29, 1889. Work continued until it was turned over to the railroad on March 1, 1890. Total cost of the structure exceeded $2.6 million, with nearly $1.2 million for the substructure alone. In order to comply

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