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Division Street Bridge

Division Street Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: June 28, 2011

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Division Street Over Calumet Sag Channel
Location
Blue Island: 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
2016
Main Span Length
290 Feet (88 Meters)
Structure Length
371 Feet (113 Meters)
Roadway Width
30 Feet (9.14 Meters)
Spans
1 Main Span(s) and 3 Approach Span(s)
NBI Number
16500525142

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)

Bridge Documentation

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

This bridge is one of two nearly identical bridges in Blue Island that are both deteriorated and closed to traffic. The reason for the deterioration appears to be caused by a nearly complete lack of maintenance, repair, and rehabilitation over the bridge's relatively short service life. From a historical perspective, the lack of maintenance is interesting since aside from the deterioration, the bridge appears as it was when first built. The original concrete deck remains, with only some minor patching for potholes. Original pedestrian railings remain, and typical of older truss bridges with sidewalks there are no railings between the truss lines and the vehicular roadway. Original stringer approach spans remain in place. Expansion joints also appear to be original. A bridge painted date is painted on the bridge as May 1965 which indicates the bridge has never been repainted since its initial painted. There also is no evidence of spot painting. It is this lack of even basic spot painting over the bridge's service life that most likely has led to the isolated areas of complete section loss on a number of vertical members. This bridge is thus an excellent unaltered example of a 1960s truss bridge as much as it is an excellent example of the value of basic maintenance such as spot painting, which would have been drastically cheaper than a rehabilitation would be, or even worse, a complete structure replacement.

Fortunately, the bridge was spared demolition and was rehabilitated for continued vehicular use. The below photos from Albert David show the bridge after rehab in 2016.

Above: Photos of rehabilitated bridge. Courtesy Albert David.

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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: Division Street Bridge

 
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Maps and Links: Division Street Bridge

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