1 vote

Chatham Street Bridge


Photo taken by Steve Conro in September 2012


BH Photo #240191


Street View 


One of a pair of nearly identical bridges over the Cal Sag Channel in Blue Island. The other is at Division Street, and was in about the same bad condition prior to their rehab.

Rehabilitation of this bridge for pedestrian and bicycle use as part of the Cal-Sag Trail is complete. It also serves pedestrian traffic from the south side of the Cal-Sag to the Metra commuter train stations on the north side of the Cal-Sag.

It needed repairs badly - It was closed to traffic but left open to pedestrians after the 2010 inspection rated it "Imminent Failure", but then in 2015 it was also closed to pedestrians. It appears that between 1964 when it was built, and 2016 when rehabilitation started, it had received no maintenance at all, not even painting.

The 2016 rehabilitation replaced and narrowed the deck, and rehabbed the steel superstructure. The narrower deck has exposed the bottom chord and its complex connections to easy view. This is not always possible on steel truss bridges, making this a very accessible bridge for one wanting to study what holds steel truss bridges together.


Polygonal Warren through truss bridge over Cal Sag Channel on Chatham Street in Blue Island
Blue Island, Cook County, Illinois
Open to pedestrians, bicycles, and emergency vehicles
Future prospects
Rehabilitation for pedestrian use completed
Built 1964; closed 2010; reopened to pedestrians March 20, 2017
Through truss
Length of largest span: 303.7 ft.
Total length: 384.7 ft.
Deck width: 29.8 ft.
Vertical clearance above deck: 16.0 ft.
Approximate latitude, longitude
+41.65249, -87.67546   (decimal degrees)
41°39'09" N, 87°40'32" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
16/443756/4611414 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Blue Island
Average daily traffic (as of 2010)
Inventory numbers
IL 016-6620 (Illinois bridge number)
BH 15109 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection report (as of October 2012)
Overall condition: Poor
Superstructure condition rating: Imminent Failure (1 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Serious (3 out of 9)
Deck condition rating: Poor (4 out of 9)
Sufficiency rating: 32.6 (out of 100)
View more at BridgeReports.com

Update Log 

  • March 27, 2017: Updated by Roger Deschner: Rehab complete, bridge reopened. Added photos, updated description.
  • September 13, 2016: Updated by Roger Deschner: Rehabilitation underway
  • November 7, 2015: New photo from Roger Deschner
  • March 17, 2013: Updated by Roger Deschner: Bridge is still open to pedestrians. Add description.
  • September 26, 2012: New photos from Steve Conro
  • November 22, 2011: Updated by Frank Hicks: Bridge is closed to traffic; refined design description
  • November 29, 2010: Updated by David Backlin: Corrected GPS

Related Bridges 



Chatham Street Bridge
Posted March 23, 2017, by Brad Noack (bradnoack [at] hotmail [dot] com)

The bridge is officially reopened as of 3/20/2017 as a pedestrian/bicycle only bridge after complete rehabilitation.


Chatham Street Bridge
Posted September 13, 2016, by Roger Deschner (rogerdeschner [at] gmail [dot] com)
Chatham Street Bridge
Posted December 29, 2012, by Clark Vance (cvance [at] dogmail [dot] com)

From what I read after a search, there's a lot of blame being placed on deferred maintenance and diverted road tax money.

There might be less need to replace some of the older bridges if more places did like Missouri and made it the law that all money collected as road tax must actually be spent caring for roads.

Chatham Street Bridge
Posted December 29, 2012, by Roger Deschner

Bridge now closed to all traffic. Unbelievable that a bridge built in 1964 could have been so badly neglected that it is falling down now. It does not even appear to have been painted since it was built. An amazing case of neglect.