Madison Street Bridge


Madison Street Bridge

     Revised and expanded 1/16/2017


Madison Street Bridge

     The Madison Street Bridge (378 West; 50 South) crosses the South branch of the Chicago River east to west 2 miles from the river mouth.  It is also known as the Lyric Opera Bridge.   This is the sixth bridge at this locr. It opened on November 29, 1922.  The bridge type is metal rivet-connected Pratt railing Height Truss, movable; double leaf bascule (fixed trunnion) and approach spans: metal stringer (multi-beam) fixed.

     There is one main span and three approach spans.  The main span length is 221 feet.  The structure length is 283.2 feet.  Roadway width is 38 feet.   This was the first bascule bridge in Chicago with a truss configuration that is partially a pony truss and partially a deck truss.


Madison Street Bridge


Design:  City Bureau of Engineering, City of Chicago

                   Architect  Edward Bennett

Superstructure Contractor:         Kettler Elliot Company of Chicago.

Substructure Contractor:            FitzSimons and Connell Company

     Construction Costs were $1,622,000

     The bridge was rehabbed in 1958 and 1994.


Bridge Tender House Madison Street Bridge

     The first bridge at this site opened in 1847.  It was a wood pontoon float swing bridge, hand operated.

     Contractors were:


     Plan of Common Council


     S. Peck, L.M. Boyce, and E.S. Wadsworth.

     Construction costs were $3500.

     Destroyed by a flood  March 12, 1849

     Second bridge at this site opened June, 1849.  It was a pontoon turntable wood hand operated.  

     Contractors were:


      Common Council City of Chicago


     Common Council City of Chicago

     Construction costs were $ 4,000.

     Bridge removed winter, 1856.

   The third bridge at this site opened June, 1857.  It was an iron swing hand operated bridge that combined two Mossely tubular arches end to end over a center pier.  It was 155 feet long.

    Contractors were:

Designer: City of Chicago, Gregory, Bandon, and Robinson

Contractor: Gaylord

    Construction costs were $42,000.    Bridge was removed in 1875.

    Fourth bridge at this site opened in 1875.  It was a Pratt truss iron swing steam powered bridge. It was 158 feet long and 30 1/2 feet wide. The old center pier was reused.  The masonry approaches and sidewalks were rebuilt.

     Contractors were:   

Design : American Bridge Company

Contractors:  American Bridge Company

     Construction costs were $15,000.  Bridge was removed in 1891.

Madison Street Bridge over the South Branch Chicago River. Chicago Historical Society Photo

     The fifth bridge at this site opened on October 16, 1951.  It was a steel swing electric powered. It had two trusses and four traffic lanes.

     Contractors were:

     Designer: Unknown

     Superstructure Contractor:  Riter and Conley

     Substructure Contractor:  FitzSimons and Connell

     Construction costs were $104,500.

     Bridge was removed September to November, 1922.


Madison Street Bridge

Bridge Inspection 10/2011

Deck                                         Condition       Rating        Very Good 8 out of 9

Superstructure                      Condition         Rating         Good   7 out of 9

Substructure.                         Condition         Rating       Satisfactory 6 out 9

Sufficiency Rating. 76 out of 100


Madison Street Bridge


Madison Street Bridge


Under Surface Madison Street Bridge

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