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Halsted Street North Branch Bridge

Halsted Street North Branch Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: October 2010 and September 10, 2012

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Halsted Street Over North Branch Chicago River
Location
Chicago: Cook County, Illinois: United States
Structure Type
Metal Rivet-Connected Pratt Deck Truss, Movable: Double Leaf Bascule (Fixed Trunnion) and Approach Spans: Metal Stringer (Multi-Beam), Fixed
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1955 By Builder/Contractor: Overland Construction Company of Chicago, Illinois and Engineer/Design: City of Chicago

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
154 Feet (46.94 Meters)
Structure Length
267 Feet (81.38 Meters)
Roadway Width
46 Feet (14.02 Meters)
Spans
1 Main Span(s) and 4 Approach Span(s)
NBI Number
16602326798

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)

Bridge Documentation

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

This bridge is one of the younger examples of a deck truss bascule bridge in Chicago. Unlike a number of bascule bridges in Chicago, the truss is a true deck truss with the entire truss below the deck, and no part of the truss visible from on top of the deck. The bridge appears to retain good historic integrity with no major alterations noted aside from the replacement of original railings in 2012. Prior to 2012, the sidewalk was in poor condition but the overall bridge appears to have been in decent shape.

A plaque on the bascule bridge relates a variety of information including that this is the fourth bridge at this location, however the plaque fails to list the contractors for the construction of the bridge. There is also a separate plaque for the approach viaduct system south of the bridge located a short distance south of the bascule bridge on a railing. This viaduct system of simple stringer spans is not included as part of the bridge proper and so the lengths of these viaducts are not included in the technical facts table on this bridge page. The 1955 Annual Report of the Public Works Department listed the contractors for the bridge. The Overland Construction Company built the superstructure with a bid of $1,657,329. The Fries Walters Company won the electrical work contract with a bid of $261,691. Walsh Construction Company built the bridge tender house and enclosures with a bid of $139,982. Pielet Scrap Iron and Meal Company demolished the previous bridge for $127,405. Michael J. McDermott Company built the northern approach viaduct system with a bid of $103,986.75. Kenny Construction Company was the contractor for the substructure.

Halsted Street North Branch Bridge Raised

During 2012, this bascule bridge was rehabilitated for about $5 million. Work included replacement of floorbeams, deck stringers, and lateral bracing. Some repairs to the trusses were undertaken as well, but this was not a major reconstruction of the trusses. The somewhat utilitarian railings that were present on the bridge (yet were in fact the original railings) were replaced with new railings with decorative flower designs that are a nod to earlier railing designs used in Chicago.

The first documented bridge at this location was built in 1866 of wood by Fox and Howard and was hand-turned. In 1877, W. B. Howard rebuilt the bridge as an iron/wood combination bridge, again a hand-turned structure. This bridge was replaced in 1897 by the King Bridge Company of Cleveland, Ohio who constructed a Scherzer Rolling Lift bascule bridge, which was the second highway bridge of this type constructed. The bridge was 127 feet long and 50 feet wide.

Previous Halsted Street North Branch BridgePrevious Halsted Street North Branch Bridge Drawing

Former Halsted Street North Branch BridgeFormer Halsted Street North Branch Bridge

Former Halsted Street North Branch BridgeFormer Halsted Street North Branch BridgeFormer Halsted Street North Branch Bridge

Main Plaque

N. HALSTED ST.
BRIDGE
FOURTH AT THIS SITE

--- 1957 ---

CITY OF CHICAGO

RICHARD J. DALEY
MAYOR

GEORGE L. DEMENT
COMMISSIONER OF PUBLIC WORKS

STEPHEN J. MICHUDA
CHIEF BRIDGE ENGINEER


M. D. KRAUSMAN
ASST. CHIEF BRIDGE ENGINEER

ELMER D. MARTIN
BRIDGE ENGINER VI (CONSTR.)
JEROME R. BUTLER
BRIDGE ENGINEER VI (DESIGN)

EDWARD KLAUSNER
RESIDENT ENGINEER

Nearby Viaduct Plaque

CHICAGO-HALSTED
VIADUCT

--- 1968 ---

CITY OF CHICAGO

RICHARD J. DALEY
MAYOR

MILTON PIKARSKY
Commissioner of Public Works

MARSHALL SULOWAY
Chief Engineer

LOUIS KONCZA
Chief Bridge Engineer

HARRY BERNSTEIN
Bridge Design Engineer

HARRY ZALEWSKI
Asst. Chief Engineer Const'n

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Historic Bridges of Chicago and Cook County

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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.

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: Halsted Street North Branch Bridge

 
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Structure Details
Original / Full Size Photos
A collection of detail photos that document the parts, construction, and condition of the bridge. This gallery offers photos in the highest available resolution and file size in a touch-friendly popup viewer. Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer
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Structure Overview
Mobile Optimized Photos
A collection of overview photos that show the bridge as a whole and general areas of the bridge. This gallery features data-friendly, fast-loading photos in a touch-friendly popup viewer. Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer
View Photo Gallery
Structure Details
Mobile Optimized Photos
A collection of detail photos that document the parts, construction, and condition of the bridge. This gallery features data-friendly, fast-loading photos in a touch-friendly popup viewer. Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer

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