PICRYL
PICRYLThe World's Largest Public Domain Source
West Division Street Bridge, Spanning North Branch of Chicago River at West Division Street, Chicago, Cook County, IL

West Division Street Bridge, Spanning North Branch of Chicago River at West Division Street, Chicago, Cook County, IL

 
 
description

Summary

Significance: When Chicago became a major commercial and industrial center after the Civil War, the most common American drawbridge was the swing bridge, horizontally rotating on a center pier to open two navigation channels. The center pier, however, became a navigational hazard for the ever-larger craft of the late nineteenth century, especially on crowded, narrow waterways such as the Chicago River. During the late 1890s, Chicago City Engineer John Ericson initiated a planning study to find an alternative to the swing span. Finding inspiration in the 1894 Tower Bridge in London, England, the municipal engineering staff developed a new movable-bridge design. The type was known as a double-leaf bascule, French for "seesaw." Each movable leaf rotated vertically on a fixed, horizontal steel axle, or trunnion, leaving the entire river channel open for shipping. With the front of each leaf counterbalanced by weights at the rear, relatively small motors could open and close the span. Completed in 1904, the West Division Street Bridge was the fourth bascule based on the city's new design.
Unprocessed Field note material exists for this structure: N667
Survey number: HAER IL-148
Building/structure dates: 1904 Demolished

person

Contributors

Historic American Engineering Record, creator
Pihlfeldt, Thomas G
Ericson, John E
Fitzsimons & Connell Company
Roemheld & Gallery
Chicago Department of Transportation
Chicago Department of Transportation, sponsor
Daley, Richard M, sponsor
Walker, Thomas R, sponsor
Kaderbek, S L, sponsor
Hess, Jeffrey A, historian
Lowe, Jet, photographer
Koslow, Julia, delineator
Gardner, Lisa, delineator
place

Location

create

Source

Library of Congress
copyright

Copyright info

No known restrictions on images made by the U.S. Government; images copied from other sources may be restricted. http://www.loc.gov/rr/print/res/114_habs.html

Explorelondon england

Explorebranch