Chicago Avenue Bridge over the Chicago River


Chicago Avenue Bridge over north branch of the Chicago River


     Blog Posted and revised 1/12/2018

      There have been four bridges over the North Branch Chicago River at Chicago Avenue (640 West; 800 North).  The current bridge runs east to west 2 miles from the river mouth.  This  Chicago Avenue Bridge is an historic bridge of the pony truss bascule design also known as the second generation of this bridge type.  It has oval shaped bridge tender houses.   It opened on 10/15/1914.  It was converted to fixed status in 1992.

     There is one main span and four approach spans.  The main span measures 189 feet in length.  The structure length measures 291 feet.  The roadway width is 36 feet.

     Contractors were:

Designed:                         Division of Bridges and Viaducts Chicago

Superstructure:             Kettler Elliot Company

Substructure:               Byrne Brothers Dredging and Excavation

     Construction costs were $294,827.


Chicago Avenue Bridge

     The first bridge at this site opened in 1849. It was a wood bent bridge.  Builder is unknown.  Construction costs are unknown.  It was removed in 1867.

     The second bridge at this site opened in 1867.  It was a Howe truss wood and iron swing hand operated bridge.  It was 175 feet long.  

     Contractors were:        

Designer:              Fox and Howard

Construction:     Fox and Howard

     Construction costs were $26,700.  The bridge was destroyed by the Chicago Fire. October 8-10, 1871

     The third bridge at this site was a swing wood and iron hand operated.  It opened in 1872.

     Contractors were:

Design:                   Fox and Howard

Construction:      Fox and Howard

     Construction costs were $20,850.  It was removed in 1911.

     For a short period of time there was a pedestrian pontoon bridge at this site.


Chicago Avenue Bridge


Chicago Avenue Bridge


Chicago Avenue Bridge

The above photo demonstrates one of the permanent bridge tender houses on this bridge.


Chicago Avenue Pedestrian Bridge


Goose Island from the Chicago Avenue Bridge


View from the Chicago Avenue Bridge


Chicago Avenue Bridge


Montgomery Ward Building  Chicago Avenue

Bridge inspection(current bridge) as of 9/2011:

Deck Condition Poor 4 out of 9;   Superstructure condition Serious 3 out of 9; Substructure Condition Poor 4 out of 9.    Overall appraisal structurally deficient .

     The city of Chicago has announced that starting 9/2018, it will begin the process of replacing this bridge.  A temporary bridge will be installed during the replacement process.

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