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Ewing Avenue Bridge

92nd Street Bridge

   


Ewing Avenue Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: August 11, 2006, September 7, 2011, and September 10, 2012
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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Ewing Avenue (US-41) Over Calumet River
Location
Chicago: Cook County, Illinois
Structure Type
Metal Rivet-Connected Pratt Pony Truss, Movable: Double Leaf Bascule (Fixed Trunnion) and Approach Spans: Metal Stringer (Multi-Beam), Fixed
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1914 By Builder/Contractor: Ketler-Elliott Company of Chicago, Illinois and Engineer/Design: City of Chicago

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
1992
Main Span Length
228 Feet (69.5 Meters)
Structure Length
338 Feet (103 Meters)
Roadway Width
36 Feet (11 Meters)
Spans
1 Main Span(s) and 4 Approach Span(s)
NBI Number
16603726629

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)

Bridge Documentation

View Archived National Bridge Inventory Report - Has Additional Details and Evaluation

Lawrence McGannThis bridge features the earliest of the pony truss bascule designs seen in Chicago, which includes a less streamlined appearance, and a more "clunky" look to the truss design. It is the only such bridge on the Calumet River, and as such is the oldest highway bascule bridge on the Calumet River. Despite its age, this bridge continues to carry a large volume of traffic. A Cambria steel name is imprinted on the bridge steel, revealing that at least some of the steel on the bridge was fabricated by Cambria steel mills. The bridge tender houses are simple and relatively unimpressive, which is characteristic of the older Chicago bascule bridges which did not include the more substantial buildings included on later bridges.

This bridge was one of the first city-designed bascule bridges to use a counterweight composed mostly of concrete rather than cast and pig iron as had been used in earlier bridges. The design of the bridge included some minor refinements of the city's fixed trunnion design, including elimination of operating struts and a compact layout of the machinery, made possible in part by the shape of the trusses and a new arrangement of the girders which support the movable leaves. As originally built, the bridge had creosoted wooden blocks for a deck surface. The bridge operation was achieved by two 75 h.p. electric motors. When completed, this bridge, with a 200 foot clear span, had the longest clear span of any bascule bridge built by the city at that time. At that time, this bridge was the main route to Chicago from eastern states, which made this a very important bridge. Given this importance, it is unsuprising that a temporary bridge was in place to serve traffic during the construction of this bridge. The temporary bridge was actually the superstructure of the former bridge at this location, which was simply moved onto a temporary substructure placed a short distance north of the bridge. This previous bridge was a hand-turned iron swing bridge, constructed at an unknown date, and was 200 feet long and 34 feet wide.

Thanks to Tom Winkle for providing boat transportation to assist in the photo-documentation of this historic bridge.

City Plaque

CARTER H. HARRISON - MAYOR

L. E. MCGANN
COMMISSIONER OF PUBLIC WORKS

JOS. O. KOSTNER
DEPUTY COMMISSIONER OF PUBLIC WORKS

JOHN ERICSON, CITY ENGINEER.

THO'S. G. PIHLFELDT.
ENGINEER OF BRIDGES AND HARBOR

A. VON BABO, ENG'R. OF BRIDGE DESIGN.

Builder Plaque

SUPERSTRUCTURE BUILT BY

THE KETLER-ELLIOTT ERECTION CO.
CHICAGO, ILL

1914

SUBSTRUCTURE BUILT BY

BYRNE BROS.
CHICAGO, ILL

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Historic Bridges of Chicago and Cook County

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Chicago and Cook County are home to one of the largest collections of historic bridges in the country, and no other city in the world has more movable bridges. HistoricBridges.org is proud to offer the most extensive coverage of historic Chicago bridges on the Internet.

Chicago / Cook County Bridge News

October 2015 - Patrick T. McBriarty, author of Chicago's River Bridges, informs HistoricBridges.org that in recognition for the "outstanding and original reference work that will support future scholarship in the history of technology", the book was awarded the biennial Eugene S. Ferguson Prize by the Society for the History of Technology (SHOT) at the SHOT Annual Meeting's awards banquet. See press release. This is the third award for this book. Order Now Direct From The Publisher! or order on Amazon.

October 23, 2015 - The Franklin Street Bridge celebrates its 95th Anniversary. Please view this announcement prepared by Chicago Loop Bridges or view it on the Chicago Loop Bridges Website.

September 2015 - Fall Bridge Lift Season is Underway. View Schedule.

May 2015 - Michigan Avenue Bridge celebrates its 95th Birthday this month! Click here for a news article.

October 2014 - A visit to Chicago revealed that the Van Buren Street Pedestrian Bridge was not demolished, but instead extensively rehabbed. The railings are new, but replicate the original design. The concrete encasement was removed and not replaced, and instead the exposed riveted steel beams have been painted. The riveted beams look quite nice, and given the condition of the bridge prior to the project this seems like a good outcome. In other news, the rehabilitation and repainting of the La Salle Street Bridge is ongoing, and the project to extend the Chicago Riverwalk under additional bridges on the Main Branch is continuing.

September 2014 - Chicago's dubious distinction of offering numerous boat tours that pass under the bridges but offer narration only of the buildings has ended with the start of a Wendella tour that focuses on bridges! Information is here.

July 29, 2013 - A project study has been initiated for the reconstruction of historic North Lake Shore Drive. This project puts a large number of historic bridges at risk for demolition and replacement. However, it could also be an opportunity to rehabilitate the bridges. Visit the project website.

May 15, 2013 - The Ashland Avenue Bridge over North Branch Chicago River has been recommended for Chicago Landmark designation by the Chicago Art Deco Society.

April 30, 2013 - Illinois Landmarks has included Chicago's Bascule Bridges as one of their Top 10 Most Endangered Historic Places. View The Official Page.

General Chicago / Cook County Bridge Resources

Chicago's Bridges - By Nathan Holth, author of HistoricBridges.org, this book provides a discussion of the history of Chicago's movable bridges, and includes a virtual tour discussing all movable bridges remaining in Chicago today. Despite this broad coverage, the book is presented in a compact format that is easy to take with you and carry around for reference on a visit to Chicago. The book includes dozens of full color photos. Only $9.95 U.S! ($11.95 Canadian). Order Now Direct From The Publisher! or order on Amazon.

Chicago River Bridges - By Patrick T. McBriarty, this is a great companion to Holth's book shown above. This much larger book offers an extremely in-depth exploration of Chicago's movable highway bridges, including many crossings that have not existed for many years. Order Now Direct From The Publisher! or order on Amazon.

View Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) Overview of Chicago Bascule Bridges (HAER Data Pages, PDF)

Chicago Loop Bridges - Chicago Loop Bridges is another website on the Internet that is a great companion to the HistoricBridges.org coverage of the 18 movable bridges within the Chicago Loop. This website includes additional information such as connections to popular culture, overview discussions and essays about Chicago's movable bridges, additional videos, and current news and events relating to the bridges.

Additional Online Articles and Resources - This page is a large gathering of interesting articles and resources that HistoricBridges.org has uncovered during research, but which were not specific to a particular bridge listing.

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Photos and Videos: Ewing Avenue Bridge

Available Photo Galleries and Videos

Click on a thumbnail or gallery name below to visit that particular photo gallery. If videos are available, click on a video name to view and/or download that particular video.

 
View Photo Gallery
Structure Overview
Original / Full Size Photos
A collection of overview photos that show the bridge as a whole and general areas of the bridge. For the best visual immersion and full detail, or for use as a desktop background, this gallery presents the photos for this bridge in the original digital camera resolution.
View Photo Gallery
Structure Details
Original / Full Size Photos
A collection of detail photos that document the parts, construction, and condition of the bridge. For the best visual immersion and full detail, or for use as a desktop background, this gallery presents the photos for this bridge in the original digital camera resolution.
View Photo Gallery
Structure Overview
Mobile Optimized Gallery
A collection of overview photos that show the bridge as a whole and general areas of the bridge. View the photos for this bridge in a reduced size which is useful for mobile/smartphone users, modem (dial-up) users, or those who do not wish to wait for the longer download times of the full-size photos. Alternatively, view this photo gallery using a popup slideshow viewer (great for mobile users) by clicking the link below.
Browse Gallery With Popup Viewer
View Photo Gallery
Structure Details
Mobile Optimized Gallery
A collection of detail photos that document the parts, construction, and condition of the bridge. View the photos for this bridge in a reduced size which is useful for mobile/smartphone users, modem (dial-up) users, or those who do not wish to wait for the longer download times of the full-size photos. Alternatively, view this photo gallery using a popup slideshow viewer (great for mobile users) by clicking the link below.
Browse Gallery With Popup Viewer
View Video
Bridge Being Raised
Full Motion Video
Distant view from 95th Street. Streaming video of the bridge. Also includes a higher quality downloadable video for greater clarity or offline viewing.
View Video
Bridge Being Lowered
Full Motion Video
Distant view from 95th Street. Streaming video of the bridge. Also includes a higher quality downloadable video for greater clarity or offline viewing.
View Video
Bumpercam: Northbound Crossing
Full Motion Video
Taken in 2012 while the bridge was being repaired. Construction activities visible on bridge. Note: The downloadable high quality version of this video (available on the video page) is well worth the download since it offers excellent 1080 HD detail and is vastly more impressive than the compressed streaming video. Streaming video of the bridge. Also includes a higher quality downloadable video for greater clarity or offline viewing.

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