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 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.
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