Murray Baker BridgeEdit profile
The Murray Baker Bridge is a landmark cantilever bridge that carries Interstate 74 over the Illinois River from downtown Peoria to East Peoria in central Illinois. According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, the Murray Baker Bridge was built in 1958, and had an original length of 3,216 feet (980.2 m). The bridge carries Interstate 74 over the Illinois River at the end of Peoria Lake. The bridge itself is a single cantilever bridge, with two lanes in each direction. Because it has no shoulders, the Baker Bridge is not up to modern Interstate standards. The bridge is named for Murray M. Baker, who was the first vice president of the company that eventually became Caterpillar. Baker convinced the Holt Manufacturing Co. to move to Peoria in 1909. Holt merged with C.L. Best Gas Tractor Co. and became Caterpillar in 1925. As part of the Upgrade 74 reconstruction project in 2005, the span's length was shortened to 3,036 feet (925.3 m) to make room for new entrance ramps on the west side of the river. On January 3, 2006, the Illinois Department of Transportation and the chief design consultant for the truss shortening, Alfred Benesch & Company, were awarded the 2006 Eminent Conceptor Award by the American Council of Engineering Companies of Illinois (ACEC-IL). The project was picked out of a larger group of Honor Award recipients. The winner of the award for 2005 was the city of Chicago with its completion of Millennium Park.