This bridge is one of two nearly identical bridges that carry Kedzie Avenue over the lagoon system that winds through the park. Kedzie Avenue travels right through the middle of Marquette Park, and as a result these bridges form something of a centerpiece for the park. These reinforced concrete t-beam bridges are beautifully formed with substantial architectural detailing on both the railing system, abutments, and the outside faces of the superstructure. Two different bronze plaques are present on on each bridge. One details the county personnel involved in the construction of the bridge while the other plaque focuses on the engineers and contractors involved with the bridge. The historic integrity of these bridges appears to be excellent with no major alterations to the structural design or the architectural detailing present.
Although both bridges were built at the exact same time, this southern bridge appears to be in poorer structural condition. It has been reduced to two lane which travel only on the eastern side of the bridge, likely as a result of this deterioration.
Despite the historic and aesthetic significance of the Kedzie Avenue Bridges, both are slated for demolition and replacement. This is extremely disappointing since it will eliminate the beauty and continuity currently seen in Marquette Park where all existing bridges appear to have at least some level of historic value. The consultant claims that the architectural features of the existing bridges will be "maintained." While replicating historic and architectural features of a historic bridge may be an acceptable route if the bridge in question is truly beyond repair, it is not apparent that these bridges have deteriorated to this point. In addition, it is doubtful that the reinforced concrete t-beam structure type will be replicated. Some sort of pre-stressed concrete box beam bridge is more likely. The idea of a historic bridge is that it is old and maintains some level of its original design and materials. The idea of preservation is to improve the physical condition of a bridge while attempting to maintain as much original material and design as possible. It is unfortunate that this type of rehabilitation has not been selected for these bridges.
Below is the text regarding the replacement project appearing on the Infrastructure Engineering website.
Infrastructure Engineering, Inc., as a prime consultant, is providing structural and civil engineering services for the superstructure replacement and repairs of two bridges on Kedzie Avenue over the lagoons in historic Marquette Park. The final design will recognize the historic nature of the area and maintain the architectural features of the existing bridges while improving the safety for the public. IEI will provide engineering services to complete construction documents including structural, roadway and erosion control plans. IEI will also inspect and replace the superstructure.
Daniel Ryan, listed as a member of the road and bridge committee on the plaque for this bridge, later became President of the Board of County Commissioners.
County PlaqueBUILT 1933 BY
BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
OF COOK COUNTY
ROAD AND BRIDGE COMMITTEE
Construction PlaqueKEDZIE AVENUE
MARQUETTE PARK SOUTH BRIDGE
SECTION 053 - 2121 - M.F.T.
STATE AID ROUTE 53
E. J. ALBRECHT CO.
H. C. TAYLOR
GEORGE A. QUINLAN
SUPERINTENDENT OF HIGHWAYS
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This historic bridge has been demolished. This map is shown for reference purposes only.
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