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Yellow Line Bridge

Skokie Swift Bridge

Yellow Line Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: December 13, 2012

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Key Facts

Location
Skokie and Evanston: Cook County, Illinois: United States
Structure Type
Metal 8 Panel Rivet-Connected Double-Intersection Warren Deck Truss, Fixed and Approach Spans: Metal 8 Panel Rivet-Connected Pratt Full-Slope Pony Truss, Fixed
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
By Builder/Contractor: Unknown

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
122 Feet (37.19 Meters)
Structure Length
823 Feet (250.85 Meters)
Roadway Width
Not Available
Spans
1 Main Span(s) and 11 Approach Span(s)
NBI Number
Not Applicable

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)

Bridge Documentation

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

This bridge is the largest structure on the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) Yellow Line, which was previously named and is still often called the Skokie Swift. Wikipedia provides this information:

The Yellow Line originally started as the Niles Center Branch of the old Chicago Rapid Transit Company (CRT). The rapid transit service began as part of the Chicago North Shore and Milwaukee Railroad's high-speed Skokie Valley interurban line on a five-mile (8 km) section between Howard Terminal and Dempster Street, Niles Center. It was placed in operation on March 28, 1925.

This suggests that this bridge dates to ca. 1925, or perhaps a few years earlier.

This impressive bridge contains a double intersection Warren deck truss span over the North Shore Channel. Leading up to that span from the east is seven deck plate girder spans. West of the span are four more deck plate girder spans which carry the line over McCormick Boulevard. Finally, west of those spans is a pony truss span that carries the line over what was once a railroad line but has today been abandoned and removed.

This bridge is historically and technologically significant as a regionally rare example of a Double-Warren deck truss, a visually intriguing truss design. The bridge is also of interest for its variety of spans. The bridge appears to retain outstanding historic integrity with no noteworthy alterations.

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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.

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