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St. Charles Air Line Bridge, Spanning South Branch of Chicago River, north of S, Chicago, Cook County, IL



See 29 maps of this location


B&W Photos

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Item Title


Location
north of S, Chicago, IL

Find maps of Chicago, IL


Created/Published
Documentation compiled after 1968.

Notes
Survey number HAER IL-157
Unprocessed field note material exists for this structure (N650; N966).
Building/structure dates: 1917 initial construction
Building/structure dates: 1930 subsequent work
Significance: Like all Strauss heel-trunnion bascule bridges, the St. Charles Air Line Bridge rotates vertically, lifting to clear the river it spans. This particular bridge is unique, however, in that its design anticipated a one-time horizontal movement - to a new, straighter channel of the Chicago River. Its original 260'-0" leaf exceeded the previous world record by 30'-0", but was shortened by 40'-0" during the move. The bridge represents Strauss' first use of air-buffered pistons on the operating struts. It is also significant for the railroad it carries, an unusual "gentlemen's agreement" between four of Chicago's earliest railroads.

Subjects
Moving Of Structures
Railroad Bridges
Truss Bridges


Related Names
Strauss, Joseph Baerman
Strauss Bascule Bridge Company
American Bridge Company
Foundation Company
Ferro-Construction Company
E. J. Albrecht Company
Spivey, Justin M., Historian
Lowe, Jet, Photographer


Collection
Historic American Engineering Record (Library of Congress)

Contents
Photograph caption(s): 
1. LOOKING NORTH TOWARD CHICAGO LOOP. NEAREST BOTTOM IS 18th STREET BRIDGE, THEN ST. CHARLES AIR LINE BRIDGE. NOTE LARGE UNDEVELOPED AREA IN FORMER CHANNEL OF RIVER (MOVED 1930).
2. LOOKING SW ALONG SOUTH BRANCH OF CHICAGO RIVER. BALTIMORE & OHIO CHICAGO TERMINAL RAILROAD BRIDGE (HAER No. IL-67) IS IN RAISED POSITION, WITH ST. CHARLES AIR LINE BRIDGE BEHIND.
3. SIMILAR TO IL-157-2, TIGHTER VIEW.
4. LOOKING SOUTH ALONG SOUTH BRANCH OF CHICAGO RIVER, WITH 18th STREET BRIDGE IN BACKGROUND.
5. LOOKING EAST ALONG AXIS OF BRIDGE. NOTE LARGE UNDEVELOPED AREA IN FORMER CHANNEL OF RIVER (MOVED 1930).
6. LOOKING EAST ALONG ABANDONED BALTIMORE & OHIO CHICAGO TERMINAL RAILROAD VIADUCT.
7. PORTAL VIEW, LOOKING WEST.
8. ELEVATION VIEW, LOOKING SW FROM RAIL BED OF ADJACENT BALTIMORE & OHIO CHICAGO TERMINAL RAILROAD BRIDGE.
9. LOOKING SOUTH AT BEARING AND LOCKING MECHANISM ON EASTERN END OF BASCULE LEAF.
10. LOOKING SE AT HEEL TRUNNION ON SOUTH TRUSS. OPERATING STRUT APPEARS AT TOP OF FRAME.
11. PORTAL VIEW, LOOKING EAST.
12. OBLIQUE VIEW OF CONCRETE COUNTERWEIGHTS, LOOKING ESE.
OBLIQUE VIEW OF CONCRETE COUNTERWEIGHTS, LOOKING ESE.


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