This is among the older of Chicago's bridges with a 1913 construction date, and as such displays the second generation bridge design that the city came up with. Unlike the later pony truss bascule bridges the city would design such as the Franklin Street Bridge (which was built in 1920) the Grand Avenue Bridge has the simpler, more clunky appearance of the earlier pony truss bascule bridges as opposed to the smooth curve seen on Franklin Street.
Local contractors built the Grand Avenue Bridge. The truss superstructure was built in 1913 by the Strobel Steel Construction Company, and the substructure was built by the Fitzsimons and Connell Dredge and Dock Company, both of Chicago.
At least as recently as 1975, a through truss viaduct/overpass led up to the bridge at the western end. This structure appears to have been at least somewhat older than the bascule bridge because it was significantly narrower than the bascule bridge. However despite this it remained in service for at least 50 years after the bascule bridge was built. The wider roadway of the bascule bridge shows the significant foresight that the city had, to build a bridge that while unnecessarily wide in 1914 given the width of the approach viaduct, would accommodate the needs of traffic 50+ years down the road when the viaduct would be replaced with something wider.
Grand Avenue was previously known as Indiana Street in this area. As such, the original plans for this bridge are labeled as the Indiana Street Bridge.
Chicago Department of Transportation is reportedly seeking to rehabilitate this historic bridge, perhaps as soon as 2015.
Photo Credit: Patrick Hynes
Above: Historical photos of the bridge taken in 1944 and 1975, respectively. In both photos, the older and narrower approach viaduct west of the bridge is visible.
City PlaqueCARTER H. HARRISON - MAYOR.
L. E. MCGANN
COMMISSIONER OF PUBLIC WORKS
JOS. O. KOSTNER
DEPUTY COMMISSIONER OF PUBLIC WORKS
JOHN ERICSON, CITY ENGINEER
ALONZO J. HAMMOND
ENGINEER OF BRIDGES AND HARBOR
A. VON BABO, ENG'R. OF BRIDGE DESIGN
Builder PlaqueSUPERSTRUCTURE BUILT BY
STROBEL STEEL CONSTRUCTION CO.
SUBSTRUCTURE BUILT BY
FITZSIMONS & CONNELL D & D CO.
Dedication PlaqueDEDICATED TO THE
EDWARD R. KELLY
MARCH 2, 1987
FROM A GRATEFUL CITY
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