This is Chicago's longest-spanning pony truss trunnion bascule bridge. It is also one of the newer examples with a 1949 construction date. This bridge's superstructure was built by the Mount Vernon Bridge Company of Mount Vernon, Ohio. The Mount Vernon Bridge Company is of interest because it is one of a few bridge companies that built pin connected truss bridges in the late 19th century and did not go out of business or get bought out in the 20th century.
This bridge was painted white for many years but by 2010 had been repainted the maroon color that Chicago has switched to as its preferred bridge paint color.
The first documented bridge at this location was a bridge listed in the Annual Report of the Department of Public Works as a Howe truss built by A. Gottlieb and Company. Soon after it was built, the United States Government condemned the bridge as an obstruction to navigation, so it was relocated and reused at Belmont Avenue in 1892. In 1893, a rare and unusual folding jack-knife bridge was built at this location which provided an 89 foot span with an overall length of 100 feet and a width of 35 feet. The bridge was listed as being made of steel and was built by Shailer and Schniglau. Operated by steam, this bridge was the second example of this ultimately unsuccessful bridge type, the first having been built at Weed Street in 1891 under a patent by Captain William Harmon. In 1903, a Scherzer rolling lift bascule bridge replaced the folding bridge. The bascule bridge superstructure contractor was the American Bridge Company.
Photo Credit: Patrick Hynes
Main PlaqueS. CANAL ST. BRIDGE
FOURTH AT THIS SITE
--- 1949 ---
CITY OF CHICAGO
MARTIN H. KENNELLY
OSCAR E. HEWITT
Commissioner of Public Works
JOHN P. WILSON
Deputy Comm. of Public Works
W. W. DE BERARD
STEPHEN J. MICHUDA
City Bridge & Viad. Engineer
CARL O. JOHNSON
Asst. Bridge Engineer (Constr.)
Midwest Construction & Asphalt Co.
The Mount Vernon Bridge Co.
Simpson Construction Co.
Divane Bros. Electric Co.
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