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Ford City Drive Bridge

Keller Drive Bridge

Ford City Drive Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: September 8, 2011

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Ford City Drive (Keller Drive) Over Pulaski Road
Location
Chicago: Cook County, Illinois: United States
Structure Type
Concrete Rigid-Frame, Fixed
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1944 By Builder/Contractor: Unknown

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
83 Feet (25.3 Meters)
Structure Length
90 Feet (27.4 Meters)
Roadway Width
48 Feet (14.63 Meters)
Spans
1 Main Span(s)
NBI Number
16075022211

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
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Bridge Documentation

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Ford City Drive Interchange Drawing

This bridge is a concrete rigid-frame bridge. Among concrete rigid-frame bridges it is somewhat unusual since it has a ribbed design that shows distinctive concrete beams making it look like a curved t-beam bridge. Retaining original railings, this bridge stands out technologically as a relatively large span and unaltered concrete rigid frame. The only alteration appears to have been the in-kind replacement of the concrete deck. The bridge and associated roadway is part of a trumpet type interchange with Pulaski Road.

This bridge was highlighted as eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places by the Illinois Historic Bridge Inventory (HBI). The Illinois HBI is one of the least useful inventories in the country because despite repeated attempts to secure data from the state department of transportation all that appears to exist for Illinois is a list of which bridges are considered eligible. No justification and explanation for the eligibility determinations appears to be available. This means that the history of the bridge and why it is considered eligible is not officially known. However it is likely that the bridge is eligible under Criterion A for association with important events, that being the World War II related effort of constructing the massive Dodge Chicago Plant which was an enormous factory that was constructed to facilitate production of bombers for the war effort. Chicago's efforts to build such a plant are similar to efforts in the Detroit, Michigan area to construct the Willow Run bomber plant. Like the Willow Run plant, the Dodge Chicago plant was established in a lightly populated area where the space was available for the plant. Like the interchanges and expressways constructed at Michigan's Willow Run, the construction of the overpass and associated interchange with Pulaski Road undoubtedly was created to help efficiently deal with the massive amount of traffic that would have been generated from work shift changes and other activity at the plant.

Portions of the Dodge Chicago Plant remain today as the Ford City Mall and some of the other buildings also remain in the area.

The bridge and interchange may also be eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places under Criterion C as an early and complete example of an interchange system.

The divided highway that the bridge carries starts at Pulaski Road and continues west. Today, it ends and makes a 90 degree turn onto Kostner Avenue. However the divided highway once continued west from this point, connecting with Cicero Avenue. There appears to have been an additional interchange at Cicero Avenue that does not remain today, with the exception of two of the ramps which today appear to serve as an entrance into the Ford City Mall.

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Photo Galleries and Videos: Ford City Drive Bridge

 
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Maps and Links: Ford City Drive Bridge

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