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Southwest Highway Bridge

Southwest Highway Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: September 8, 2011

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Southwest Highway (IL-7) Over Calumet Sag Channel
Location
Palos Hills: Cook County, Illinois: United States
Structure Type
Metal 9 Panel Rivet-Connected Parker Through Truss, Fixed and Approach Spans: Metal Continuous Stringer (Multi-Beam), Fixed
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1931 By Builder/Contractor: Unknown

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
2003
Main Span Length
216 Feet (65.8 Meters)
Structure Length
347 Feet (105.6 Meters)
Roadway Width
43.6 Feet (13.29 Meters)
Spans
1 Main Span(s) and 4 Approach Span(s)
NBI Number
16046404158

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
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Bridge Documentation

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

Southwest Highway Bridge

This bridge is among the older bridges on the Calumet Sag Channel and the Little Calumet River. However unlike the other older truss bridges on these waterways, this bridge uses only rolled beams for its truss vertical and diagonal members, which gives it a more simple appearance compared to some of the other bridges which make more extensive use of built-up beams with lattice and v-lacing. The bridge is nicely proportioned however and maintains an attractive appearance. This bridge appears to be in good physical condition.

An interesting discovery was a bridge plan sheet that outlined a plan to add lift towers to this bridge and make it a vertical lift bridge that would raise up a short distance. These towers, while drawn on the plans, were described as "lift tower not included in this contract" however it appears the bridge was designed with the potential to be turned into a vertical lift bridge if future requirements for clearance on the Calumet Sag Channel ever increased to something higher than this bridge initially provided. However, these lift towers were never constructed. The drawing below shows how these towers would have looked if built.

Southwest Highway Bridge

 

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Historic Bridges of Chicago and Cook County

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Complete Bridge List

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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Photo Galleries and Videos: Southwest Highway Bridge

 
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Bridge Photo-Documentation
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A collection of overview and detail photos. This gallery offers photos in the highest available resolution and file size in a touch-friendly popup viewer. Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer
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View Video
Northbound Crossing
Full Motion Video
Streaming video of the bridge. Also includes a higher quality downloadable video for greater clarity or offline viewing.

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Maps and Links: Southwest Highway Bridge

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