Eight Track Ralroad Bridge Over Sanitary and Ship Canal

     This unusual bridge crosses the Sanitary and Ship Canal west of the south Western Avenue Traffic Bridge.  It was constructed in 1901 and 1909-1910. The construction was done in 1901 by the Scherzer Rolling Lift Bridge Company.   The 1909-1910 construction was done by the Chicago Bridge and Iron Works.

Eight Track Railroad Bridge

Eight Track Railroad Bridge

     The original contract was awarded to Scherzer.  Its design was four parallel double tracked, double leaf bridges.  This was to accommodate multiple railroad lines that crossed the Ship Canal at this site.

     In 1908, Chicago Bridge and Iron Works was awarded a contract to erect a new bridge using existing approach spans and piers.  The new piers were placed adjacent to the old ones.

    The bridges are four parallel single-leaf Scherzer Rolling Lift Bascule bridges.  Each bridge has two sets of tracks.  The lift bridges are 140 feet in length.  The original lines using the bridges were Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Chicago and Saint Louis Railroad,the Illinois Stock Yards and Transit Railroad, Chicago and Northern Pacific Railroad.  The supporting piers are limestone covered with concrete.

     Other railroads that have used these bridges include Baltimore and Ohio Terminal Railroad, CSX Railroad, CN Railroad, Chicago Junction Railroad, Norfolk Southern Railroad..

     The two western spans are no longer operational.

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