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The Canal Street Railroad Bridge on Chicago’s South Side (4 photos)

All bridges in Chicago along the Chicago River must be able to allow for the passage of large ships. Different methods have been employed to accomplish this. This approach is known as the vertical lift bridge since the portion of the bridge between the two towers moves straight up and down. The bridge is still in use today.

When the bridge was built in 1915, the portion between the two towers was heavier than any other bridge of its type. It was built for the Pennsylvania Railroad to replace a two-track swing bridge. The new bridge was built over the old one which was still in use during construction. Once the new bridge was completed, the swing bridge was demolished.

The towers are 185 feet tall and the span measures just under 273 feet. It takes about 45 seconds to raise the span to a height of 111 feet.

The photos were taken by myself on 20 Sep 2009. They were edited using ACDSee Ultimate 2018. Among some minor adjustments I used the program’s ‘Cloud’ special effect to replace a severely washed out sky.

All photos are © 2009 Gary J. Sibio. All rights reserved.

Text © 2018 Gary J. Sibio. All rights reserved.


The Bridge Tender's Cabin on the Canal Street Railroad Bridge (2009-09-20 11-33-09a)

This is part of the original bridge. The bridge tender used to live there but now it's used for storage.

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Written by Gary J Sibio