1 vote

Western Avenue Overpass


West face, looking southeast

Note the smooth underside of this box-girder structure, which prevents pigeons from roosting.

Photo taken by Roger Deschner in May 2014

License: Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike (CC BY-SA)


BH Photo #348700

Street View 


Doomed 11-span prestressed concrete box girder overpass carrying four very narrow lanes of Western Avenue over 5-way intersection with Belmont Avenue and Clybourn Avenue. One of a number of overpasses built by Chicago in the 1960s which are being demolished as they deteriorate.


Concrete overpass carrying Western Avenue over Belmont Avenue and Clybourn Avenue
Chicago, Cook County, Illinois
Demolished March 5-7, 2016
Built 1961; closed March 1, 2016; demolition began March 5, 2016, Completed March 7, 2016
Prestressed concrete deck box girder
Length of largest span: 100.1 ft.
Total length: 1,102.1 ft.
Deck width: 42.0 ft.
Also called
Riverview Overpass
Approximate latitude, longitude
+41.93944, -87.68811   (decimal degrees)
41°56'22" N, 87°41'17" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
16/442958/4643281 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Chicago Loop
Inventory numbers
NBI 000016613404042
IL 016-6134 (Illinois bridge number)
BH 56321 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • March 7, 2016: Updated by Nathan Holth: Demolition complete.
  • March 2, 2016: Updated by Roger Deschner: Bridge now closed; demolition to begin immediately
  • February 8, 2016: New photo from Roger Deschner
  • May 23, 2013: Added by Roger Deschner



Western Avenue Overpass
Posted April 7, 2016, by Michael Taylor

Speaking of Riverside I actually wish it was still open as I am not only a bridge enthusiast but an Amusement Park enthusiast... That park appearantly had some fantastic rides, and classic wooden roller coasters (A type disappearing almost as fast as Truss Bridges)... Regardless this was definately an ugly bridge and not really historic at all.

Western Avenue Overpass
Posted March 7, 2016, by Nathan Holth (webmaster [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

Saw it on the WGN News tonight... its a pile of rubble now. http://chicago.suntimes.com/news/western-avenue-reopens-afte...

Western Avenue Overpass
Posted March 2, 2016, by Roger Deschner (rogerdeschner [at] gmail [dot] com)

Here's a bridge demolition that has widespread community support. This overpass has been considered somewhat of an eyesore and community divider, after nearby Riverview Amusement Park closed in 1967. Now it has deteriorated seriously, so it's also an example of the short life span of some modern bridge designs, in this case prestressed concrete box girder. It's a big bridge that carried heavy traffic, so the traffic disruption of the demolition project will be considerable. It will be replaced by a 5-way surface intersection controlled by traffic signals, along with room for wider sidewalks.