This bridge is one of several railroad swing bridges on the Sanitary and Ship Canal in Chicago. They are all highly significant as rare surviving example of swing bridges in Chicago, where most movable crossings were replaced with bascule bridges.
This bridge is extremely difficult to photograph on land, therefore requiring a boat to get a full photo-documentation of the bridge. Thanks to Tom Winkle for providing boat transportation to assist in the photo-documentation of this historic bridge.
A report by the canal's chief engineer, Isham Randolph provided information about the bridge as originally constructed. Total weight of iron and steel in the bridge was estimated at 2,676,00 pounds, with a contract price of $167,292.50. The bridge is unusual because its floorbeams cantilever out beyond the trusses. This was a solution to meet demands by the railroad for a bridge that could accommodate four tracks if needed. This design provided room for one additional set of tracks on the outside of each truss line.
Pictured below is Isham Randolph who was the Chief Engineer of the Sanitary District of Chicago when this bridge was built.
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.
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.
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.
Original / Full Size Photos
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Mobile Optimized Photos
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Passing Under Bridge
Full Motion Video
|Streaming video of the bridge. Also includes a higher quality downloadable video for greater clarity or offline viewing.|
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