This bridge is actually two independent parallel bridges that share a single abutment. The western bridge continues to carry the Metra North Line, while the eastern bridge has been converted to carry non-motorized traffic on a rail-trail system. These structures are unique among grade separation bridges because of their highly ornate architectural details. The highlight of these details include the bas-relief Indian head sculptures on the abutments, undoubtedly a nod to the fact that this area and the railroad station is known as Indian Hill. The bridge also features a concrete facing on the outside of the superstructure, which includes a detailed pattern cast into it, which hides the steel superstructure. The bridge also includes an ornate metal railing design. The bridge appears to be a steel rigid-frame type of bridge, since the built-up steel beams curve into the abutment, with the ends of the beams being encased in the concrete (rather than resting on bearings). North of the bridge, the railroad line maintains an elevated position, with concrete retaining walls that stylistically match the bridge being used. A short distance north of the bridge, there is a pedestrian tunnel, which is also detailed in an architecturally compatible manner, and was built as part of the same contraxt package.
The contract to build the bridge was let on September 7, 1939, so a ca. 1940 construction date is being listed here. The project was funded with assistance from Depression era relief programs, as the contract award is listed in a publication of the Federal Works Agency/Public Works Administration.
Above: Historical photo showing bridge construction.
Above: Historical photo showing bridge newly completed.
Above: Historical photo showing approach retaining wall newly completed.
Above: Drawing showing proposed overpass at Indian Hill, very similar to a bridge at Cermak Avenue in Chicago. This design appears to have been turned down in favor of the bridge seen today, with the unique American Indian theme.
Above: Drawing showing proposed stardard overpasses for the Winnetka area.
Complete Bridge List
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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.
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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