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Metra - 55th Street Bridge

Photos 

West face

West face, with decorative railing and monuments, and bent structure underneath. Also note nice truss catenary support on top.

Photo taken by Roger Deschner in May 2016

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

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BH Photo #354110

Map 

Description 

One of a series of overpasses built by the Illinois Central Railroad on its way south out of Downtown Chicago. This one at 55th St has interesting decorative details, including a decorative railing with monuments on top, and a post-and-arch bent structure underneath. Both abutments have elaborate, locally beloved, mural artwork. An arched steel structure was built inside each of the side walkways in about 2005 to support lighting, for pedestrian safety and to illuminate the murals.

The bridge carries 2 CN (Illinois Central) tracks, also used by Amtrak, and 4 Metra Electric Line tracks, also used by the South Shore Railroad. The catenary supports on this electrified line are interesting truss structures in themselves.

The south abutment contains two stairways up to the Metra/South Shore platforms, the east stairs to board northbound trains into Chicago, and the west stairs to board southbound trains from Chicago. Until about 1982, a very narrow wooden station house was in the south walkway span, enclosing these stairways.

Facts 

Overview
Slab bridge over East 55th Street on Metra/CN railroads
Location
Chicago, Cook County, Illinois
Status
Open to traffic
History
Built ca. 1929
Railroads
- Amtrak (AMTK)
- Canadian National Railway (CN)
- Chicago, South Shore, & South Bend Railroad (CSS)
- Illinois Central Railroad (IC)
- Metra (METX)
Design
Concrete slab, with elaborate arch-and-post bent structure
Dimensions
Vertical clearance above deck: 11.7 ft.
Approximate latitude, longitude
+41.79519, -87.58707   (decimal degrees)
41°47'43" N, 87°35'13" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
16/451224/4627203 (zone/easting/northing)
Inventory number
BH 72340 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • May 28, 2016: Added by Roger Deschner

Sources 

  • Roger Deschner - rogerdeschner [at] gmail [dot] com