HistoricBridges.org Menu: HistoricBridges.org Menu:

Divider

HistoricBridges.org: Bridge Browser

Advertisements:
Bach Steel - Experts at historic truss bridge restoration.

Divider

State Street Bridge

Bataan-Corregidor Memorial Bridge

   


State Street Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: August 12, 2006, 2009, and 2010
View Photos
and Videos
View Maps
and Links

Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
State Street Over Chicago River
Location
Chicago: Cook County, Illinois
Structure Type
Metal Rivet-Connected Pratt Railing Height Truss, Movable: Double Leaf Bascule (Fixed Trunnion) and Approach Spans: Metal Stringer (Multi-Beam), Fixed
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1949 By Builder/Contractor: Overland Construction Company of Chicago, Illinois and Engineer/Design: City of Chicago

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
1994
Main Span Length
245 Feet (74.7 Meters)
Structure Length
307 Feet (93.6 Meters)
Roadway Width
72 Feet (21.9 Meters)
Spans
1 Main Span(s) and 5 Approach Span(s)
NBI Number
16604827322

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)

Bridge Documentation

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

View Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) Documentation For This Bridge

HAER Data Pages, PDF

State Street Bridge

About This Bridge

State Street Bridge Chicago IllinoisChicago RiverThis bridge is among the newer of Chicago's deck truss bascule bridges with a 1949 construction date. Historic American Engineering Record mentions a 1942 construction date, but the bridge was not actually completed until 1949 due to steel shortages from World War II and also issues with the Red Line subway construction that was in progress at the time as well in this area of State Street. The bridge is an example of the unique Chicago design which raised the position of the deck truss up just far enough so that the top chord is above the deck like a pony truss, where it can act as a guardrail and also increase both the clearance under the bridge and the streamlined aesthetics of the bridge. This design is known as the railing height truss.

Today, there are a number of bridges in Chicago that display the railing height truss design, and they are all attractive structures, however the newer examples display less ornate bridge tender houses. Constructed in 1949, this bridge is one of the last bridges built in Chicago that has bridge tender houses that display significant aesthetic enhancements. Although not as ornate as earlier bridges from the 1920s-1930s, this bridge's bridge tender houses do display some noteworthy architectural details.

This bridge is one of the widest Chicago bascule bridges and serves an impressive eight lanes of traffic. To accommodate and support this width, the bridge is designed with three truss lines. There are three railing height trusses, including State Street Bridge, that are located one right after another on this section of the river. Of those three, this is the widest, the only one with three truss lines.

65th Anniversary In 2014

This bridge was completed and opened on May 28, 1949. It celebrates its 65th Anniversary in 2014. Click here to view a commemoration article by ChicagoLoopBridges.com.

State Street Bridge Construction Diagram

Above: This aerial view of the bridge during the earlier stages of construction shows the abutments under construction. The trusses of this bridge were assembled in sections off-site, and brought to the construction site on a barge. In the above photo, one of the northern truss sections can be seen off to the side on a barge. One of the southern truss sections can be seen held by cranes on a barge, which is floating right in between the abutments.

State Street Bridge Construction

Above: This photo shows the bridge construction site. In this photo, the trunnion girders are visible. These unusually shaped girders are a design used on a number of Chicago bascule bridges. Trunnion girders are where the trunnion (and thus the entirety of a leaf) are supported. They address the issues that arise from having a large tail pit for the counterweight in the same location where the trunnion and bascule leaf need to rest and be supported.

State Street Bridge Conceptual DrawingState Street Bridge Construction

Above: At left, a conceptual drawing provided to give an idea of what the bridge would look like when completed. At right, a photo showing abutment construction.

State Street Bridge Dedication and Ribbon Cutting

Above: This photo shows the dedication and ribbon cutting for the existing State Street Bridge.

State Street Bridge American Institute of Steel Construction Certificate

Above: While it did not actually win an official award, the State Street Bridge did get recognized in 1949 by the American Institute of Steel Construction for its beauty. It did get honorable mention however, receiving the certificate seen here.

Former State Street Bascule Bridge Chicago Illinois Chicago RiverFormer State Street BridgePrevious State Street Bridge

The above photos show the bridge that preceded the existing bridge. This bridge was a Scherzer rolling lift bascule pony truss bridge. It was built in 1903 with American Bridge Company as the superstructure contractor.

Chicago RiverChicago River

Above: Views of the Chicago River in general, showing the previous bridge at this location built in 1903.

Former State Street BridgeFormer State Street Bridge

Above: Two additional photos of the previous Scherzer rolling lift bascule bridge. Source: Library of Congress.

Former State Street Swing Bridge Chicago Illinois Chicago RiverState Street Bridge Former Swing Bridge Pier.

Above: Photos of the bridge that preceded the Scherzer rolling lift bridge. It was a 184 foot long metal through truss swing bridge with substantial ornamental details on the portal bracing. The bridge was completed in 1872 following the Chicago Fire. The superstructure contractor was the Keystone Bridge Company. This bridge was rebuilt in 1887 by A. Gottlieb and Company. The center pier of the swing bridge was reconstructed in 1898. Only five years after this reconstruction, the entire bridge was replaced with the Scherzer rolling lift bascule bridge.

State Street Bridge Earlier Swing Bridge

Above: A photo of an early State Street Bridge, presumed to be the 184 foot wooden swing bridge built in 1864 by contractors Fox and Howard. This bridge was destroyed in the 1871 fire.

Main Plaque

BATAAN-CORREGIDOR
MEMORIAL BRIDGE
-- 1949 --

CITY OF CHICAGO

MARTIN H. KENNELLY
Mayor

OSCAR E. HEWITT
Commissioner of Public Works

W. W. DE BERARD
City Engineer

STEPHEN J. MICHUDA
City Bridge & Viad. Engineer

WILLARD E. LOFGREN
Asst. City Bridge & Viad. Engineer

CARL O. JOHNSON
Asst. Bridge Engineer (Constr.)
GUSTAV A. HEINRICH
Asst. Bridge Engineer (Design)

ELMER D. MARTIN
Resident Engineer

CONTRACTORS

Fitz Simons & Connell Dredge and Dock Co.

The Overland Construction Co.

Fries-Walters Co.

Dedication Plaque

BATAAN-CORREGIDOR
MEMORIAL BRIDGE

DEDICATED

TO THE MEMORY OF THOSE GALLANT
HEROES FROM THE CHICAGO AREA
WHO WERE MEMBERS OF THE BESIEGED
GARRISON ON THE BATAAN PENINSULA
AND AT CORREGIDOR, PHILIPPINE
ISLANDS, IN WORLD WAR II.

MAY THE COURAGE AND FORTITUDE
DISPLAYED BY THIS GROUP IN THE
FACE OF ADVERSITY BE A CONSTANT
INSPIRATION TO OUR CITIZENS

1949

Rededication Plaque

In commemoration of the 100th Anniversary of the
Philippine Independence, and on the occasion of
Bataan Day APRIL 9, 1998, this bridge has been re-
dedicated by
Mayor Richard M. Daley in honor of
all the
Filipino and American Veterans who fought
side-by-side during the Heroic Fall of Bataan and
Corregidor Island, Philippines in 1942.

 
Emelinda Lee - Pineda
Consul General
of the Philippines, Chicago
Mina T. Gabor
Secretary
Philippine Department of Tourism

Donated by the Philippine Department of Tourism

Divider

Historic Bridges of Chicago and Cook County

Flag of Chicago Seal of Cook County

Browse Bridges In Google Maps
Complete Bridge List

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.

Divider

Photos and Videos: State Street 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
Raising The Bridge
Full Motion Video
Oblique view. 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.
View Video
Raising The Bridge
Full Motion Video
Elevation from southeast quadrant. Streaming video of the bridge. Also includes a higher quality downloadable video for greater clarity or offline viewing.
View Video
Raising The Bridge
Full Motion Video
View beside bridge from southeast quadrant. Streaming video of the bridge. Also includes a higher quality downloadable video for greater clarity or offline viewing.
View Video
Warning Lights
Full Motion Video
A short video showing the unusual lights that spell out STOP and flash when a Chicago bridge is raised. Streaming video of the bridge. Also includes a higher quality downloadable video for greater clarity or offline viewing.
View Video
Hosing Down The Bridge
Full Motion Video
Taken June 2011. Chicago Fire Department trucks and boat hose down a bridge that was stuck and would not open. The cold water helps the metal contract, allowing the bridge to raise. Streaming video of the bridge. Also includes a higher quality downloadable video for greater clarity or offline viewing.

View Maps
and Links

Divider
 
Home Top

Divider

About - Contact

© Copyright 2003-2017, HistoricBridges.org. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer: HistoricBridges.org is a volunteer group of private citizens. HistoricBridges.org is NOT a government agency, does not represent or work with any governmental agencies, nor is it in any way associated with any government agency or any non-profit organization. While we strive for accuracy in our factual content, HistoricBridges.org offers no guarantee of accuracy. Information is provided "as is" without warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied. Information could include technical inaccuracies or errors of omission. Opinions and commentary are the opinions of the respective HistoricBridges.org member who made them and do not necessarily represent the views of anyone else, including any outside photographers whose images may appear on the page in which the commentary appears. HistoricBridges.org does not bear any responsibility for any consequences resulting from the use of this or any other HistoricBridges.org information. Owners and users of bridges have the responsibility of correctly following all applicable laws, rules, and regulations, regardless of any HistoricBridges.org information.