Rall Bascule Lift

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Rall bascule bridges were invented by Theodor Rall. Exact design of a Rall bascule bridge can vary, but should include some of the characteristics in one of the two patents filed by Mr. Rall, which include patent #669,348 and #817,516. The key feature among all known surviving Rall bascule bridges is a trunnion that is set inside a roller that moves along a track during bridge operation. The rights to build Rall bascule bridges were held by the Strobel Steel Construction Company of Chicago, Illinois, which was a company that both designed and contracted for bridge projects. As such, most Rall bridges were both designed and built by Strobel Steel Construction Company. Currently, there are five known Rall bascule bridges: One in Chicago, Illinois, two in East Chicago, Indiana, one in Portland, Oregon, and one in Baltimore, Maryland. All five known examples are listed below.


Broadway Bridge (Multnomah County, Oregon)
Built 1912; rehabilitated 1927
Rall-Bascule lift bridge over Willamette River on Broadway Street in Portland
Open to traffic

CN - Collateral Channel Bridge (Cook County, Illinois)
Built 1914; intact but fixed, in use locked down
Deck plate girder bridge over Collateral Channel on Chicago & Western Illinois Railroad
Open to traffic

Great Channel Bridge (Cape May County, New Jersey)
Built 1930; approach spans replaced 1984; rehabilitated 1992
Bascule bridge over Great Channel on Stone Harbor Road (CR 657) in Stone Harbor
Open to traffic

Hanover Street Bascule Bridge (Baltimore, Maryland)
Built 1916; rehabilitated 1971 and 1992
Bascule bridge over Middle Branch of Patapsco River on Hanover Street in Baltimore
Open to traffic

Illinois Traction - McKinley Bridge (Peoria County, Illinois)
Built 1907, closed to traffic in 1951
Lost Bascule bridge over Illinois River on Illinois Terminal Railroad in Peoria
No longer exists

NYC - Indiana Harbor Canal Bridges (Lake County, Indiana)
Built ca. 1909
Abandoned through truss bridge over Indiana Harbor Canal on Railroad (Abandoned New York Central)
Derelict/abandoned

PRR - Miami & Erie Canal Bridge (Allen County, Ohio)
Built 1901
Lost Deck plate girder Rall Bascule Lift bridge over Miami & Erie Canal on Pennsylvania Railroad
Replaced by a new bridge