Rating:
4 votes

BNSF - Canal Street Lift Bridge

Photos 

Scenic Harbor

Photo taken by Steve Conro in September 2012

Enlarge

BH Photo #240461

Map 

Street Views 

Description 

Originally built as part of the Pennsylvania Railroad system, this Waddell and Harrington vertical lift span is the only one of its kind across the Chicago River. Upon its completion in 1915, it had the heaviest (1,500 ton) main span of any vertical lift bridge in the United States.

-- Historic American Engineering Record

Facts 

Overview
Pratt through truss bridge over South Branch of Chicago River on BNSF Railway
Location
Chicago, Cook County, Illinois
Status
Open to traffic
History
Built 1915
Builders
- Pennsylvania Steel Co. of Steelton, Pennsylvania
- Waddell & Harrington of Kansas City, Missouri
Railroads
- Amtrak (AMTK)
- BNSF Railway (BNSF)
- Metra (METX)
- Norfolk Southern Railway (NS)
- Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR)
Design
Pratt through truss
Dimensions
Span length: 273.0 ft.
Total length: 273.0 ft.
Approximate latitude, longitude
+41.85556, -87.63670   (decimal degrees)
41°51'20" N, 87°38'12" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
16/447150/4633935 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Englewood
Inventory number
BH 50843 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • June 19, 2017: New Street View added by Dana and Kay Klein
  • December 28, 2016: New photos from Roger Deschner
  • November 22, 2015: New photos from Royce and Bobette Haley
  • July 15, 2015: New photos from John Marvig
  • February 11, 2015: Updated by Roger Deschner: Added category "Chicago River Movable Bridges"
  • October 4, 2014: New photo from Douglas Butler
  • September 30, 2012: Updated by Luke Harden: Added category "Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway"
  • September 29, 2012: Updated by Steve Conro: Add Photo's
  • January 6, 2012: Updated by J.P.: Added categories "HAER documented", "Riveted", "Navigable waterway", "Amtrak", "Pennsylvania Railroad"

Sources 

Comments 

BNSF - Canal Street Lift Bridge
Posted June 20, 2017, by george oakley (georgeoakley49 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

Nathan and Roger,either way it is actually exciting seeing underneath these bridges on the rivers.They ought to do every river.Would be very interesting,i think.

BNSF - Canal Street Lift Bridge
Posted June 19, 2017, by Nathan Holth (webmaster [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

That is an interesting development. It is interesting they went down some lesser traveled routes like under the Chicago and Alton Railroad Bridge... I wonder if they will venture further down the Sanitary and Ship Canal in the future...

BNSF - Canal Street Lift Bridge
Posted June 19, 2017, by Roger Deschner (rogerdeschner [at] gmail [dot] com)

I just found that Google put their street view camera on a boat on the Chicago River. It captured some great views of a number of interesting bridges, with even good views of the undersides of bridges, including this bridge. It went up the North Branch on both sides of Goose Island to North Avenue, down the South Branch to Damen Avenue, and out the Main Branch through the Chicago Locks and all around in Lake Michigan past Navy Pier.

This will be fun to explore!

Amtrak S. Branch Chicago River Bridge
Posted May 31, 2014, by Patrick Feller (nakrnsm [at] aol [dot] com)

The Conro photos really show the bridge well.