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This bridge is a contributing structure to the Lincoln Park Historic District included on the National Register of Historic Places. The bridge is listed as a steel stringer bridge. There is a pier in the center of the bridge that is positioned such so that the entire pier is within the width of the bridge. This appears to have been an intentional measure meant to try to hide the pier and give the appearance of an aesthetically pleasing single span bridge. The bridge has Art Deco style detailing. The railings on the bridge are an unusual design, particularly on the roadway side, where the design consists of a series of square "pockets" along a solid concrete parapet.
This bridge is reportedly slated for demolition and replacement. This is unfortunate since it will have an adverse effect on the cohesiveness of the Lincoln Park Historic District. Overall the bridge appears to be in decent condition and could very likely be rehabilitated instead. The bridge does suffer from an unusual problem however. The closed metal grate deck (metal grate filled with concrete) has "bulged" or "bubbled" up severely on just one lane only, such that in the eastbound lane a car has the experience of driving over a dome-shaped deck. This is an unusual type of deterioration, but the most unusual thing is that the westbound lanes appear to be completely unaffected by the problem.
Although a separate bridge, it is worth noting that immediately west of this bridge is a tiny two-span concrete rigid-frame bridge that allows a non-motorized pathway to pass under the bridge. For reference, the National Bridge Inventory data pages for this bridge have been included within the data pages link for this bridge at the top of this narrative.
This bridge was demolished and replaced in 2012. The replacement bridge simulates some of the architectural details of the historic bridge, which is a nice gesture, however the superstructure design has not been replicated. The decorative concrete facade on the historic bridge was flat throughout the entire face, while the replacement bridge has a step inward at the bottom creating a visual separation between the facade and the superstructure below the deck. More importantly, the replacement bridge has only one main span instead of two. By eliminating the pier in reality, the replacement bridge does not convey the purpose of the aesthetic treatments on the bridge, which appears to have been to visually hide a pier. Finally, the tiny rigid-frame bridge over the pathway at the west end of the bridge was also replaced, and the replacement looks completely different. While the aesthetic details put on the replacement overpass are similar to those on the main bridge, they do not even remotely look like what the original overpass looked like. The original overpass had flat shape, while the replacement looks like an arch shaped pre-fabricated Con-Span. The replacement bridge cannot be considered a form of preservation since no original bridge material was retained, nor can it be considered a form of historic replication due to differences in the structural design. A photo of the replacement bridge is shown below.
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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.
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This historic bridge has been demolished. This map is shown for reference purposes only.
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2021 National Bridge Inventory: View listed bridges within 0.5 miles (0.8 kilometers) of this bridge.
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