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104th Avenue Bridge

104th Avenue Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: September 8, 2011

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
104th Avenue (Willow Springs Road) Over Calumet Sag Channel
Location
Palos: Cook County, Illinois: United States
Structure Type
Metal 8 Panel Bolt-Connected Polygonal Warren Through Truss, Fixed and Approach Spans: Metal Stringer (Multi-Beam), Fixed
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1964 By Builder/Contractor: Unknown and Engineer/Design: Alfred Benesch and Associates of Chicago, Illinois

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
290 Feet (88.39 Meters)
Structure Length
406 Feet (123.75 Meters)
Roadway Width
28 Feet (8.53 Meters)
Spans
1 Main Span(s) and 4 Approach Span(s)
NBI Number
16301804324

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)

Bridge Documentation

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

104th Avenue Bridge

This bridge is one of several truss bridges on the Calumet Sag Channel that date to the 1960s. They are noted for having built-up beams held together by rivets but having all connections being bolted. There also are some welded details. While not very old or overly significant, they are more visually attractive than any modern bridge could hope to be. In addition, these bridges are quite important in conveying the final chapter in the story of the historic metal truss bridge. The use of rivets only on the built-up beams in these 1960s bridges represents the final years of the use of rivets in metal truss (and any type of metal bridge) construction. Already at this time, historical techniques like using lattice and v-lacing on built-up beams had been largely abandoned. By the 1970s, rivets were abandoned completely. After around 1970, metal truss bridges might be built occasionally for specialized situations, but were largely abandoned as a bridge type considered for a new bridge project. In addition, any truss bridges built after approximately 1970 no longer used rivets, ending a historical construction method that had been used essentially since the beginning of metal bridge construction in the United States. The elimination of this final historical construction technique by 1970 is largely why HistoricBridges.org has set 1970 as the general cutoff date to consider a bridge for historical significance and inclusion in the Bridge Browser.

This particular bridge is about as close as one can get to a rural bridge on the Cal-Sag Channel. Located on a road that is not quite a busy as most of the other crossings on the channel, the bridge is only two lanes wide and has a slightly narrower deck as a result.

Like other Calumet Sag Channel bridges, this fixed truss bridge was designed such that, as indicated in the original plans for the bridge, the structure could be converted to a vertical lift bridge by the addition of towers in the future if increased clearance for boats was ever needed in future years. This need has never presented itself however, so these changes have never taken place.

Main Plaque

104 TH AVENUE BRIDGE

CALUMET SAG CHANNEL

BUILT 1964 BY

COUNTY OF COOK

SEC. 018-0405.2-M.F.T.

LOADING H20-S16-44

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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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