Chicago and Alton RR Bridge over the south branch of the Chicago River


Chicago and Alton RR Bridge over the south branch of the Chicago River

Visible from the Stevenson Expressway near Ashland Avenue is an unusual looking bridge.  This was called the Chicago and Alton Railroad Bridge.  It spans the south branch of the Chicago River.

The first bridge at this site was a bob tail swing bridge built in the 1880’s.  The current bridge was a replacement for this.  It was jointly used by the Chicago and Alton Railroad, Illinois Central Railroad, and the Santa Fe Railroad.  Construction began in 1905 and was completed in 1906.  John Page of Page and Schnable designed the bridge and later patented it.  It is a rare Page bascule structure.  In this design, the counter weight  is  built into the approach system.  The steel in this structure came from the Lassig Plant in Chicago.  The main span  is  a single leaf Page bascule.  The superstructure  is  riveted steel Warren through truss.  It  is 150 feet in length.   The approach span is riveted steel plate girder.  It was 64 feet in length.  The bridge rests on concrete abutments.   The roadway width is 34.3 feet.    The bridge tender house is at the north approach.

American Bridge company was the superstructure contractor.  The bridge was erected by Kelly Atkinson Construction Company.  Substructure contractor was Thomas Phee Company was the substructure contractor.  Electric contractor was G.P. Nichols and Brother of Chicago.

The bridge in currently not operational.  It is currently used by Metra, CN and Amtrak.

Chicago and Alton Bridge over South Fork South Branch

Same as above

Chicago and Alton Bridge

Same as above

Photos added 5/7/18

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