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This bridge is similar to the Harrison Street Bridge. There are some interestingly designed concrete approach railings near to this bridge but it is not known what their relationship is to this bridge if any. Typical of the post-1950 bascule bridges, the bridge tender towers have very little of the ornate architecture as well instead opting for the more simplistic appearance that was typical for the period.
While the bridge's plaque does not list the contractors for the bridge, an Annual Report of the Public Works Department did. Overland Construction Company of Chicago, Illinois constructed the superstructure for a cost of $1,514,273. The M. J. Boyle and Company removed the previous bridge and dredged the construction site for $332,675. Electrical work was completed by the Divane Brothers Electric Company for $332,675. The bridge tender house and enclosures were built by the R. C. Wieboldt Company for $157,043. A historical photo of the bridge's substructure construction includes a view of a girder with Bethlehem painted on it indicating that Bethlehem Steel fabricated at least some of the steel.
In 2014, this bridge was rehabilitated. Work included a new roadway deck, repaired trusses, floor beams and lateral bracing.
The first documented bridge at this location was built in 1867 by Fox and Howard and was an iron/wood combination bridge. The bridge was a hand-turned swing bridge. The bridge burned in the 1871 Chicago Fire and was rebuilt in 1872, again as a combination iron/wood bridge, this time by E. Sweet Junior and Company. The next bridge at this location immediately preceded the existing bridge and was a bascule built in 1895 and was one of the first Scherzer Rolling Lift bascule bridges ever built. According to a conceptual drawing, the existing bridge was constructed in the raised position, while maintaining traffic on the 1895 bridge during construction. The contractor was Charles Louis Strobel.
Above: The above four photos show the previous 1895 Scherzer rolling lift bascule bridge at this location.
Main PlaqueW. VAN BUREN ST.
FOURTH AT THIS SITE
-- 1957 --
CITY OF CHICAGO
RICHARD J. DALEY
GEORGE L. DE MENT
Commissioner of Public Works
DICK VAN GORP
STEPHEN J. MICHUDA
Chief Bridge Engineer
Bridge Engineer (Constr.)
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This bridge is tagged with the following special condition(s): Unorganized Photos
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