Ashland Avenue Bridge over the south Branch of the Chicago River


Ashland Avenue Bridge


Ashland Avenue Bridge


There have been multiple bridges over this site on the south branch of the Chicago River.  The first documented  bridge was a swing type.  It was built by the Detroit Bridge Company in 1883.  It was 160 feet in length and 20.5 feet in width.    The next bridge was built in 1902 by the Chicago Bridge and Iron Company.  This was a rare Page type bascule bridge.  This was replaced by the existing bridge in 1938.   During the replacement project, a temporary bobtail swing bridge was erected adjacent to the construction site.   This was constructed by the Overland Construction Company.   This was done to keep the area open to traffic.

The current bridge was constructed in 1938.  The superstructure contractor was was Ketler–Elliot Company.   Substructure contractor was Fitz Simmons and Connell Dredge and Dock Company.  Depression Age funding was used for the project.   The description of the bridge is  a very wide pony truss bascule bridge.   There are three pony truss lines to carry the wide bridge.

The bridge is still  operational. The main span length is 225 feet.  The total structure length is 312 feet.   The road width is 57 feet.   There is one main span and four approach spans.

Bridge appraisal as of 10/2011:  Deck Condition 7 out of 9   Good;  Superstructure 6 out 9  Fair; Substructure 5 out of 9  Fair

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