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Middle Bridge

Middle Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: September 8, 2011

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Hayes Drive Over Jackson Park South Lagoon
Location
Chicago: Cook County, Illinois: United States
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1902 By Builder/Contractor: Unknown

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
70 Feet (21.34 Meters)
Structure Length
180 Feet (54.86 Meters)
Roadway Width
50 Feet (15.24 Meters)
Spans
1 Main Span(s)
NBI Number
16619627259

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)

Bridge Documentation

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

View Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) Documentation For This Bridge

Jackson Park Aerial Photo

This bridge is a concrete arch bridge which has a stone facing on the spandrel walls and also has stone parapets which make the bridge look like a stone arch bridge. This technique was common in park bridges and also in the earlier years of concrete bridges when people were still adjusting to the appearance of a concrete bridge, where a desire to avoid the somewhat plain appearance of concrete and instead maintain the traditional appearance of a stone arch was desired. The National Bridge Inventory gives a 1902 construction date for this bridge. This was further confirmed by review of a 1902 Report of the South Park Commissioners, which stated the following:

The new bridge is located at a point nearly in the center of the park. It is 180 feet in length and 78 feet in width, a driveway fifty feet in width and two walks twelve feet in width being carried across it. The faces of the bridge are a reddish Minnesota granite, rockfaced. The parapet is granite, dressed on the interior face. The arch is elliptical and gives a clearance over the water of fourteen feet. The span is seventy feet. The arch is of concrete enclosing nine-inch iron beams.

This description, particularly the mention of "nine-inch iron beams" indicates that this is an extremely rare Melan type arch bridge which uses solid beams for reinforcement rather than traditional rebar. Melan arches are, like this bridge, typically found in the oldest surviving concrete bridges.

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Historic Bridges of Chicago and Cook County

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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.


This bridge is tagged with the following special condition(s): Melan

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