This bridge has the distinction of being associated with a roadway that was once US-66, which is the most-loved U.S. route in the country. Although US-66 is no longer officially signed here, historic US-66 signage is present near the bridge.
While the City of Chicago has only one remaining Scherzer rolling lift highway bascule bridge yet has dozens of trunnion bascule bridges, Joliet is the opposite and has four Scherzer rolling lift bascule bridges yet only one trunnion bascule bridge, and this is it. The bridge is very similar to trunnion bascule bridges seen in Chicago, however almost appears out-of-place here in Joliet with all the other rolling lift bridges. It is unclear why a trunnion bascule was selected for this crossing. To make matters even more strange, the bridge was designed by the Scherzer Rolling Lift Bridge Company, making this bridge a rare example of where the company departed from its trademark type of bascule bridge and instead designed a fixed trunnion bascule bridge that is strikingly similar to those designed by the City of Chicago during this same period. Details similar to Chicago city-designed bridges include the low-profile Pratt pony truss, curved top chord, and the concealment of the leaf racks on the inside of the truss web, with the pinion being located under the roadway, along with the counterweight and the fixed trunnion.
In 2011 a contract was let to rehabilitate this bridge. Like the other recently repainted bridges in Joliet, the bridge will be repainted in a blue color.
Be sure to view the photo gallery for this bridge which includes photos of the inside of the bridge tender house and the machinery room. Video of the bridge in motion is available here.
Original / Full Size Photos
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