Revised and completed 12/27/2017
The 18th Street (301 West; 1600 South) is a movable bridge over the south branch of the Chicago River. It crosses east to west over the South Branch 3.6 miles from the river mouth. It is a relatively new bridge. It opened on August 18, 1967. The bridge was designed by the Division of Bridges and Viaducts City of Chicago. Contractor was Contracting and Material Company. Cost was $2.3 million. The bridge was rehabbed in 2014-2015. There is one main span and four approach spans. Bridge description is metal rivet connected Pratt Railing Height Truss, movable single leaf bascule (fixed trunnion) and approach spans: metal stringer (multi beam), fixed. This is the largest single leaf bascule bridge in Chicago.
The main span length is 182 feet. The structure length is 280 feet. Roadway width is 48 feet.
The first bridge at this location was built in 1857. Designer is unknown. Contractor was William Linton. It was a wood pontoon swing bridge hand operated. Cost was $3800. It was. removed in 1867.
The second bridge at 18th Street was opened in 1867. It was designed and built under the supervision of J.K. Thompson Street Supervisor. It was a Howe truss wood and iron swing bridge hand operated. Cost was $28,500.
In 1876, the bridge approaches were modified. Viaduct were added over tracks of the Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne and Chicago Railroad and the Chicago, Alton and Saint Louis Railroad.
Bridge closed In 1888.
The third bridge at this site opened on November 6, 1888. It was a hand operated Pratt truss swing iron and steel bridge. It was 150 feet long. Designer is unknown. Superstructure Contractor was King Bridge Company. Substructure Contractor was Chicago Dredge and Dock Company. Cost was $62,788.
The bridge was converted to steam power in 1894. In 1896, new floor added. Turntable wheels replaced.
The bridge was removed In 1903.
The fourth bridge at this site opened in 1905. It was an electric powered Scherzer Rolling Lift Bascule Bridge. It was made of steel. The contractors were as follows:
Designer : Scherzer Rolling Lift Bridge Company.
Superstructure : Jackson and Corbett Company
Substructure: Lydon and Drews Company
The bridge was built by the Sanitary District.
Cost was $ 218805.
The bridge underwent an extensive rehab in 1938.
The bridge was removed in 1966.