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Author Topic: Do old Truss Style Mast Arms still exist in IL.  (Read 3246 times)

roadman65

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Do old Truss Style Mast Arms still exist in IL.
« on: July 06, 2021, 12:41:42 PM »

I was going through GSV and noticed the signals on US 34in LaGrange have been replaced with the new Mono Tube arms that is the standard for IL now. In 1987 and 1984, Chicagoland still had them in many places and some intersections would use both then.


Are any still around.
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Re: Do old Truss Style Mast Arms still exist in IL.
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2021, 12:54:12 PM »

They do in some places but they have been getting phased out. Fortunately, I have a few in my hometown of Bolingbrook on Route 53 that are still up. I know around Fox Valley Mall there are some on 59, New York St, Commons Dr and McCoy Dr.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2021, 01:02:45 PM by hobsini2 »
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Revive 755

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Re: Do old Truss Style Mast Arms still exist in IL.
« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2021, 10:15:59 PM »

There's still a good number of truss mast arms on the lower-key roadways that are unlikely to see improvements, particularly on unmarked IDOT roads or various city/village roads, or Cook County roadways.
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Re: Do old Truss Style Mast Arms still exist in IL.
« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2021, 08:38:55 AM »

I was just thinking about this myself the other day. Yes, there's still some that exist by me and as Revive 755 said, most are on the kind of streets that IDOT doesn't maintain.

Example that is actually on an IDOT road, with all 4 intact:
https://goo.gl/maps/QZrUqL6prqq4wL7B9
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hobsini2

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Re: Do old Truss Style Mast Arms still exist in IL.
« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2021, 12:30:38 PM »

I was just thinking about this myself the other day. Yes, there's still some that exist by me and as Revive 755 said, most are on the kind of streets that IDOT doesn't maintain.

Example that is actually on an IDOT road, with all 4 intact:
https://goo.gl/maps/QZrUqL6prqq4wL7B9
Intact but not the original design. Those are harder to find.  What I mean is the physical position of the signal on the arm. Like this by Fox Valley Mall:
https://www.google.com/maps/@41.7619391,-88.2103462,3a,75y,152.92h,93.45t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s24qg7zlAqwObZcXqGYf3wA!2e0!7i16384!8i8192

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ILRoad55

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Re: Do old Truss Style Mast Arms still exist in IL.
« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2021, 10:46:17 PM »

There's 2 at Ogden and Saratoga, but the signals have been replaced so they aren't positioned like the originals anymore. Those mast arms are also used for the Middle turn lane only signs along Ogden too.

Cass and N Frontage Road have all 4 mast arms. Again, it uses newer signals though. Route 53 in Bolingbrook uses them too.

I recall 75th had some truss mast arms but I think they've phased them all out. I also remember 75th had another unique mast arm design. It was bulkier and had goose neck lamps. I think the only one left is at Modaff and 75th in Naperville.
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Re: Do old Truss Style Mast Arms still exist in IL.
« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2021, 10:47:32 PM »

Alright so first post lol, I've honestly been lurking and hoping for someone to bring up this thread. I honestly can kind of get why they're getting put out of use, but I think these truss arms are way better than anything IDOT's putting up nowadays if you ignore functionality.

There's one I found on Google Maps maintained by the state in Taylorville, it lasted long enough for someone to put the fancy reflective tape on the backplates and everything.
https://goo.gl/maps/5F8jKzrL2w4nMzK39

There's another one over in Homewood on 183rd by Kedzie. It's weird because they put two overhead signals on the truss instead of a supplemental one on the right. I've only seen a couple other instances of this, one in Matteson, but most of the time they only put one overhead signal on the trombone truss.
https://goo.gl/maps/1mRmsfefHAwudaqm9

Finally, if you look at old pictures on Google Street View, you can see a trombone truss with the correctly mounted signals, with an overhead 12-8-8. The truss arms are still there, but they used brackets to mount new LED signals onto the truss.
https://goo.gl/maps/RDUgaAigG69X4HbU6

They were a lot more common, even when I was growing up in like 2006. I distinctly remember being displeased that they replaced the trombone trusses at 167th and Oak Park with more common assemblies. It's a shame that they aren't actually trying to put the signal on correctly either; in southern Illinois at similar intersections they still hang the signal directly from the trombone truss. I think brackets look tacky, especially when they don't get the new signal all the way to the end of the arm.
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Re: Do old Truss Style Mast Arms still exist in IL.
« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2021, 03:12:37 AM »

Skokie & Dempster (in Skokie) has four black truss-style mast arms. They look surprisingly clean. The signals were replaced within the last ten years.

Obviously based on my location, I am not from Illinois. But I remember marking this intersection/signal on Google Maps as I liked how it was setup. Very clean, good placement, and I like the truss-style mast arms. I was shouted down for my opinion as others indicated there were not enough overhead signals, but I always thought those were overrated anyway :)

Mod-note: I think this may be better in 'traffic control'?

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Re: Do old Truss Style Mast Arms still exist in IL.
« Reply #8 on: July 08, 2021, 03:53:51 PM »

Mod-note: I think this may be better in 'traffic control'?

Only if it starts to become a wider discussion on unique signal mast arm types. Otherwise, this is probably just an Illinois thing.

And I'm sorry. I didn't realize we were only looking for the original mounts.

Here's a set of three in a row, two of which are on an IDOT road* that as a kid, I never liked the look of for some reason. These signals were updated a few years ago now, so they no longer stand. Also note the use of backplates on the 12-8-8 ground-mounted signals, something extremely unique even back then.

https://goo.gl/maps/agdoYjfDwqtPm5s46
https://goo.gl/maps/zAqftiNXk1saCZfe7
https://goo.gl/maps/cx9LyK8em8f7uoMf8

* IDOT doesn't maintain the section with the first one, despite them all being relatively close to one another. It's complicated.
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Re: Do old Truss Style Mast Arms still exist in IL.
« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2021, 10:21:42 AM »

There's 2 at Ogden and Saratoga, but the signals have been replaced so they aren't positioned like the originals anymore. Those mast arms are also used for the Middle turn lane only signs along Ogden too.

Cass and N Frontage Road have all 4 mast arms. Again, it uses newer signals though. Route 53 in Bolingbrook uses them too.

I recall 75th had some truss mast arms but I think they've phased them all out. I also remember 75th had another unique mast arm design. It was bulkier and had goose neck lamps. I think the only one left is at Modaff and 75th in Naperville.
Those "Goose Neck" arms were a DuPage County thing in the 1990s I believe since I never saw one out of the county.  75th has a few still. Naper-Plainfield Rd (partially) and Modaff Rd.  The ones that were in Darien got taken out with the reconstruction of 75th last summer. Pretty sure DuPage County is phasing these out now.
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Re: Do old Truss Style Mast Arms still exist in IL.
« Reply #10 on: July 09, 2021, 11:25:14 AM »

There's 2 at Ogden and Saratoga, but the signals have been replaced so they aren't positioned like the originals anymore. Those mast arms are also used for the Middle turn lane only signs along Ogden too.

Cass and N Frontage Road have all 4 mast arms. Again, it uses newer signals though. Route 53 in Bolingbrook uses them too.

I recall 75th had some truss mast arms but I think they've phased them all out. I also remember 75th had another unique mast arm design. It was bulkier and had goose neck lamps. I think the only one left is at Modaff and 75th in Naperville.
Those "Goose Neck" arms were a DuPage County thing in the 1990s I believe since I never saw one out of the county.  75th has a few still. Naper-Plainfield Rd (partially) and Modaff Rd.  The ones that were in Darien got taken out with the reconstruction of 75th last summer. Pretty sure DuPage County is phasing these out now.

The "goose neck" with davit style light poles are unique to DuPage County but are being phased out (which is too bad, because they are a rather unique style). There are a few along 31st in Oak Brook. As far as the old classic IL truss design, I know of one that still exists along York Rd. in Elmhurst. There were some at the interchange of 31st and 83 (Kingery Hwy) but those have recently been removed and seem to be getting replaced with a standard modern installation. One place where there had been several remaining was along NW Highway (US 14) in the corridor from Arlington Heights to Des Plaines. I know several were replaced, including a Wisconsin style one at Euclid and NW Highway, but others do remain, last I checked.
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Revive 755

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Re: Do old Truss Style Mast Arms still exist in IL.
« Reply #11 on: July 09, 2021, 10:14:23 PM »

One place where there had been several remaining was along NW Highway (US 14) in the corridor from Arlington Heights to Des Plaines. I know several were replaced, including a Wisconsin style one at Euclid and NW Highway, but others do remain, last I checked.

IIRC IDOT will be removing some of those near IL 53 with one of the contracts let this year.

As for the DuPage County mast arms, rumor has it the County wants to replace them as funding permits.

Lake County though is still using decorative mast arms with an slight arch
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« Last Edit: July 10, 2021, 12:30:42 PM by ET21 »
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Re: Do old Truss Style Mast Arms still exist in IL.
« Reply #13 on: July 10, 2021, 07:34:05 PM »

Does anyone know why the truss model was discontinued by IDOT? 
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Revive 755

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Re: Do old Truss Style Mast Arms still exist in IL.
« Reply #14 on: July 10, 2021, 10:27:13 PM »

Does anyone know why the truss model was discontinued by IDOT? 

Speculation:

1) It does not allow for the same length as the modern mast arms - anyone know what the max length the old trussed design was?

2) They are more difficult for calculations when going for a non-standard loading if additional signs or other equipment need to be added?

3) More failure points/more difficult to inspect?
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Re: Do old Truss Style Mast Arms still exist in IL.
« Reply #15 on: July 11, 2021, 08:13:10 AM »

Does anyone know why the truss model was discontinued by IDOT? 

Speculation:

1) It does not allow for the same length as the modern mast arms - anyone know what the max length the old trussed design was?

2) They are more difficult for calculations when going for a non-standard loading if additional signs or other equipment need to be added?

3) More failure points/more difficult to inspect?

4) The price of aluminum over galvanized steel.  These trusses were made of aluminum.
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Opkl2

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Re: Do old Truss Style Mast Arms still exist in IL.
« Reply #16 on: July 11, 2021, 07:53:04 PM »

Does anyone know why the truss model was discontinued by IDOT? 

Speculation:

1) It does not allow for the same length as the modern mast arms - anyone know what the max length the old trussed design was?

2) They are more difficult for calculations when going for a non-standard loading if additional signs or other equipment need to be added?

3) More failure points/more difficult to inspect?

Interesting perspective. I have come across a few long trusses however. One example is in Matteson at US-30 and Cicero. Ironically, it is one of the last remaining truss from that intersection. Most likely because it is not positioned within the slip lane island. Another example, though no longer around, was at Torrence Ave and River Oaks Dr.
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Re: Do old Truss Style Mast Arms still exist in IL.
« Reply #17 on: July 19, 2021, 10:48:03 PM »

I remember being a child in the 90's and seeing almost every signal along US34 from central Naperville to central Westmont using those truss assemblies (Washington Street to Cass Avenue).  Many of those intersections have been partially to completely retrofitted with simple mast arms.  These days, the truss signals can be found on some old installs, especially around the inner and southern suburbs of Chicago.  Here are some I know of:

Western & Steger
Western & Exchange
US6 & Vincennes
IL53 & Briarcliff
Dixie Hwy & 187th
IL-120 at IL-83
US45 at IL-173
IL-25 at Villa St., Elgin
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Re: Do old Truss Style Mast Arms still exist in IL.
« Reply #18 on: July 21, 2021, 09:00:57 PM »

Another spot where you still see them a lot is along Euclid Ave. in Arlington Heights and Mt. Prospect. The ones in Arlington Heights are especially interesting as they also include truss street lighting poles. Honestly, I do not like the street light poles on the newer steel installations that started to become common about 20 years ago. I am referring to the ones like this:

https://goo.gl/maps/L4hnHgjknMV28VvA9

Aside from the City of Chicago, they just look out of place in the rest of Illinois IMO. Kind of like how I feel about the increased use of the davit style light poles in lieu of the classic looking aluminum truss street and highway light poles, I'm just not a fan of the newer styles, and I somewhat always lament seeing the classic installations go, almost like a part of the identity of driving around Illinois is taken away. Anyways, some examples below of the classic styles:

https://goo.gl/maps/UotQuVHH2wgJj8ReA
https://goo.gl/maps/bJU94HAEi3sr5Wns5
https://goo.gl/maps/kZjgzvWK3pthstY1A
https://goo.gl/maps/HHoAb72f8Z5qXeqx6
https://goo.gl/maps/pAiwRgpFrvG3zHTf7
https://goo.gl/maps/3A4zmzUrkxUub4kF6
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Re: Do old Truss Style Mast Arms still exist in IL.
« Reply #19 on: July 22, 2021, 08:01:46 AM »

Here's another one I forgot about on Skokie Blvd right near the Edens. It's on a village-maintained road, and the lens have been retrofitted multiple times with LED, so this one is unlikely to be removed or replaced anytime soon. Both sides have the completely original style.

https://goo.gl/maps/8VMiaKgenUEJy7fM9
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Re: Do old Truss Style Mast Arms still exist in IL.
« Reply #20 on: July 22, 2021, 10:18:55 AM »

I'm not really a traffic signal guy, but...

Does this count?  1st Ave & Washington, Maywood
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Re: Do old Truss Style Mast Arms still exist in IL.
« Reply #21 on: July 22, 2021, 11:35:06 AM »

I'm not really a traffic signal guy, but...

Does this count?  1st Ave & Washington, Maywood

Yes it does.
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Re: Do old Truss Style Mast Arms still exist in IL.
« Reply #23 on: July 22, 2021, 05:23:41 PM »

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Re: Do old Truss Style Mast Arms still exist in IL.
« Reply #24 on: July 22, 2021, 05:41:05 PM »

Trusses, trusses everywhere, and a relatively new build location. I-55 at I-355

https://www.google.com/maps/@41.6976171,-88.0433357,3a,75y,58.96h,94.87t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sMXPbut8fWLUcNGWFEc5R_Q!2e0!7i16384!8i8192

I'm not seeing any mast arms in that GSV shot...
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