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Metropolitan Elevated Railroad Bridge

Paulina Connector Railroad Bridge

Metropolitan Elevated Railroad Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: March 1, 2008

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Key Facts

Location
Chicago: Cook County, Illinois: United States
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1895 By Builder/Contractor: Unknown

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
256 Feet (78 Meters)
Structure Length
Not Available
Roadway Width
Not Available
Spans
1 Main Span(s)
NBI Number
Not Applicable

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)

Bridge Documentation

Despite all the historic movable truss bridges that Chicago has, Chicago does not have many of the more traditional stationary pin-connected truss bridges that are often found in other places in the country. As such, this ten panel pin-connected Camelback  through truss, although traditionally configured, is an uncommon and unusual sight in Chicago. It was built  by a competing elevated railroad line called Metropolitan Elevated (which later became part of the Chicago Rapid Transit Company which later became the CTA). As a light railroad structure, its lightweight truss members  are more reminiscent of a highway truss bridge than a railroad truss bridge. Soaring over some railroad tracks (which are hidden by a rather large and impressive stone wall), this bridge's trusses appears to retain excellent historic integrity. The approaches to this bridge have all been long removed, as has the deck on this bridge. Currently railroad signals are mounted on the bridge to aid trains traveling on the lines under the bridge. It would be nice to see the city acquire this bridge and relocate it to one of Chicago's parks, where it could again be a functional bridge and a historic landmark. Fully restored with a lighter, more attractive color of paint on it, this would be a very attractive addition to a park.

Bruce Moffat from the CTA provided the following additional information:

Bridge remained in everyday use until 1951. There were occasional trains over it until the mid-1960's when the elevated structure through this area was finally demolished. CTA transferred ownership of the bridge to the Chicago and North Western Ry. which had signals mounted on it (they are still there).

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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.

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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Photo Galleries and Videos: Metropolitan Elevated Railroad Bridge

 
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Maps and Links: Metropolitan Elevated Railroad Bridge

Coordinates (Latitude, Longitude):
41.888561,-87.670190

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