North Branch of the Chicago River at Belmont Avenue


North Branch of the Chicago River looking towards downtown from the Belmont Avenue Bridge

These images were recently taken at the Belmont Avenue Bridge over the North Branch of the Chicago River.


Same as above

     The Belmont Avenue Bridge (2600 West; 3200 North) runs east west across the North Branch Chicago River 6.8 miles from the river mouth.  This bridge opened in 1976. This is the fourth bridge at this site.    This bridge was a replacement for a prior bascule bridge.

     The current bridge is a fixed steel and concrete bridge. It is a four lane with a 21 foot river clearance.  It was designed by the Division of Viaduct and Bridges City of Chicago.  The building contractors are unknown.  The construction costs are unknown.

     In 1875, when the first Belmont Avenue Bridge was built,  the northern border of Chicago was at Fulterton Avenue.  On both sides of the North Branch of the Chicago River at Belmont were the communities of Lake View on the east and Jefferson on the west.   The Belmont Avenue Bridge was an iron fixed bridge.  It was 77 feet long and 17 feet wide.  It was designed and constructed by the King Bridge Company.

     Total constructed costs were $3290.   Three  government entities shared in the costs–Jefferson ($1,491), Lake View ($1,097), and Cook County ( $694).  This bridge was a 77 foot long and 19 feet wide bridge. 

     In 1889, the city of Chicago annexed Lakeview and Jefferson and took over ownership of the bridge.

     The bridge was removed In 1893

    The second Belmont Avenue Bridge was another example of bridge recycling.  It was the former Canal Street Bridge.  This bridge was removed in June,1892.  It was floated to Belmont Avenue.  It was then placed on the east bank.  Construction began in October, 1892 on a new bridge foundation.  However, the work was soon halted and did not resume until  June 10, 1893.  It was completed in August.  

     In October, 1893, the bridge from Canal Street was installed on the new foundation.

     The bridge was a Howe through truss swing bridge (hand operated). It was  200 feet long and 35 feet wide.

     It was designed by Abraham Gottlieb.   Superstructure Contractor was Abraham Gottlieb.   Substructure Contractor was Chicago Dredge and Dock Company.  Construction costs were $24,759.

     Bridge moved to area near North Avenue turning basin on June 17, 1911.

     From 1911 to 1916, there were a series of three temporary bridges at the Belmont Avenue Site.  The first was built in June 16, 2011 and the last was dismantled on on October 17, 1916


View of the North Branch of the Chicago River from the Belmont Avenue Bridge

     Work on construction of the third permanent bridge began in 1912.  Project was prolonged by work stoppages from labor strikes.  Leaves of the bridge were installed May 10, 2016.  Street car rails, pavement and sidewalks followed.  The bridge was opened to pedestrians and single street car on October 17, 1916.  Work on the superstructure was completed February 6, 2017.  It officially opened on July 12, 1917.

     The bridge was a Chicago style double leaf bascule.  It was made of steel.  It was electric powered.  It was designed by the Division of Bridges and Viaducts City of Chicago.   Contractor was Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Company.   Cost was $268,033.  The bridge was removed 1976.


Belmont Avenue Bridge

     The area north of the bridge was the site of two iconic businesses.  Northeast)  River Amusement Park in business from 1903–1967.  Northwest)  Henry Grebe and Company Ship Yard.  In business from 1926–1993.  It produced pleasure craft and warships.


Same as above


View from the Belmont Avenue Bridge.  North Branch of the Chicago River

Belmont Avenue Bridge

Belmont Avenue Bridge

Belmont Avenue Bridge

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