Greene County's Railroad Viaduct: Third Largest in the World (HI-04)
On the Illinois Central Railroad about 6 miles west of Solsberry in east-central Greene County, a huge viaduct spans Richland Creek valley. This steel and concrete structure, supported by 18 towers, is 2,295 feet long and 180 feet high. The combined length and height make it the third largest structure of its kind in the world. When the viaduct was completed in December 1906, the Illinois Central tracks on that line extended from Indianapolis to Effingham, Ill. During the days of steam locomotives, large wooden barrels of water sat on platforms along the viaduct for use in case of fire.

Where Richland Creek is spanned by the viaduct, it flows in a wide valley. But a mile downstream and 5 miles upstream are gorges known as "narrows." These were formed when the glacier blocked preglacial northwestward-flowing streams and diverted them southwestward along the ice margin. The streams cut narrow valleys across former interstream divides. Richland Creek at the viaduct flows through a part of the preglacial valley.

Our Hoosier State Beneath Us: Historical


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