Revised and expanded on 1/14/2018
There have been six bridges at the Kinzie Street site. The location is historic because: it is the location of the first Chicago bridge (1832); the site of a river fire (1899);site of a flood that shut down the city center for one week (1992). The current Kinzie Street Bridge (423 west; 400 North) crosses the North Branch Chicago River 1.8 miles from river mouth. It crosses east to west. Its technical description is Metal Riveted-connected Pratt through Truss, movable single leaf bascule (Fixed trunnion). Approach spans metal stringer, fixed. This bridge is the only remaining single leaf bascule from the first generation through truss. It opened on May 10, 1909.
In 1910, danger signals were installed on the west approach; the deck was paved. In 1931, the east bridge house was elevated above the sidewalk and was rebuilt. In 1939, the upper two stories of the State Street Bridge house were moved to the sw corner of the bridge. In November, 1998,Kinsey Street was closed and the bridge structure was elevated 5 feet. Bridge was converted from movable to fixed. The bridge was rehabbed extein 1999.
The main span is 136.2 feet. The structure length is 195 feet. Road width is 36 feet. There is one main span and 2 approach spans.
Design: Alexander von Babo City Engineer of Bridge Design
Contractor Superstructure: John J. Gallery
Contractor Substructure: Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Co.
Construction costs were $199,750.
The first bridge at Kinzie Street opened in 1832. It was a fixed wood bent bridge.
Design: Samuel Miller
Construction: Samuel Miller
Construction costs are unknown.
The bridge was removed In 1839.
The second bridge at this site opened in 1839. It was a wood pontoon swing bridge hand operated. It was 120 feet by 10 feet.
Construction: L. Price and R. Freeman.
Construction costs were unknown.
This bridge was destroyed in a flood March 12,1849.
The third Kinzie Street Bridge opened September, 1849. It was a pontoon turntable wood swing bridge, hand operated.
Designer: Derastus Harper, City Superintendent Public Works
Construction: Derastus Harper, City Superintendent Public Works
Construction costs were $1276.
Bridge was removed in 1859.
Fourth bridge at this site opened on November 3, 1859. It was a swing wood hand operated structure.
Designer: Newton Chapin and Company
Construction: Newton Chapin and Company
Construction costs were: $15,000
The bridge was removed In 1870.
The fifth bridge was constructed in 1870 It was a Howe truss hand operated wood an iron swing bridge. It was 170 feet long and 31 1/2 feet wide.
Designed: Fox and Howard
Construction: Fox and Howard
Construction costs were $15,850.
In April 17, 1899, there was a river fire that caused extensive bridge damage. The bridge house, western approach, roadway, and side walks were rebuilt.
The bridge was removed on December 16, 1907
Inspection of current bridge on 9/2011.
Deck. Condition Rating: Good 7 out of 9
Superstructure. Condition. Rating. Fair 5 out of 9
Substructure Condition. Rating. Satisfactory 6 out of 9
Appraisal Funtionally obsolete
There was an unusual incident involving the current bridge. On Augus, 2004, a river cruise boat the Little Lady was drenched with septic waste from a bus chartered by the Dave Matthews Band. The driver apparently emptied the holding tank while the bus was on the Kinzie Street Bridge