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.
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.
Main PlaqueN. HALSTED ST.
FOURTH AT THIS SITE
--- 1957 ---
CITY OF CHICAGO
RICHARD J. DALEY
GEORGE L. DEMENT
COMMISSIONER OF PUBLIC WORKS
STEPHEN J. MICHUDA
CHIEF BRIDGE ENGINEER
Nearby Viaduct PlaqueCHICAGO-HALSTED
--- 1968 ---
CITY OF CHICAGO
RICHARD J. DALEY
Commissioner of Public Works
Chief Bridge Engineer
Bridge Design Engineer
Asst. Chief Engineer Const'n
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