The Chicago Milwaukee and St. Paul Railroad Grade Separation Historic District is a unique historic district that was created to encompass a true rarity: approximately 26 bridges from a ca. 1914-1915 project to create a depressed section of railroad line, allowing all roads in that area to pass over the railroad tracks on bridges, thereby eliminating grade crossings. The historic district is unique because not only were so many bridges constructed as part of this project, so many of these bridges from so long ago still survive today. This however may be changing. A study conducted concerning the historic bridges talked a lot about replacement and bridges "reaching the end of their service life" which is legal lingo for "we don't feel like preserving this bridge anymore." At the same time, there has been recommendation for preservation of some of these bridges. The destruction of too many of these bridges will destroy the continuity of the historic district. However, the individual bridges do have some aesthetic and historic value even on their own, so any preservation effort would be worthwhile, however the more bridges that can be preserved the better!
The bridges documented by HistoricBridges.org follow a concrete t-beam design, and the t-beams have a slight haunched detail at the ends. The bridges have solid concrete paneled railings. The concrete piers are technically described as bents and an arched design connects between each column. Most bridges have construction years cast into the abutments.
HistoricBridges.org only had time to photo-document a few representative bridges in this historic district. Most of the bridges are of similar design and appearance. This page is the "home page" for these bridges, containing additional information and links.
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