Rating:
1 vote

Michigan Avenue Bridge

Share:

Photos 

Overview

The bridge acts as a memorial to Fort Dearborn.

Photo taken by James McCray in August 2007

Enlarge

Request this photo

Map 

Street View 

Description 

This impressive four-leaf double-deck bascule bridge was built to be Chicago's showpiece bridge. It commemorates historic Fort Dearborn, which was located at the bridge's south end. The bas-relief sculptures on each of the bridge's four ornate tender houses depict scenes in the city's history. The bridge carries very heavy vehicular and pedestrian traffic on both of its two levels.

The southwest bridge tender house is open to the public as the McCormick Bridgehouse Museum, with displays on the history of the Chicago River, Fort Dearborn, and the bridge itself, including the ability to view the bridge's internal operating machinery.

On October 15, 2010 it was officially renamed the DuSable Bridge, in honor of Chicago's first non-native permanent resident.

During repair work on September 20, 1992, the southeast leaf flew open uncontrolled, catapulting a crane and other construction equipment across Wacker Drive, injuring several people, with a heavy wrecking ball landing in the back seat of an occupied car. The bridge leaf was unbalanced because the deck had been removed for replacement, so the counterweight was heavier than the bridge. According to eyewitness reports, it only took about 5 seconds to rise to fully vertical, which was so violent that the bridge leaf was ripped off its trunion bearings and fell into the tail pit.

Facts 

Overview
Bascule bridge over Main Branch Chicago River on Michigan Avenue (former US 14) in Chicago
Location
Chicago, Cook County, Illinois
Status
Open to traffic
History
Built 1920; repaired after freak accident 1992
Design
Bascule Pratt deck truss
Dimensions
Length of largest span: 255.8 ft.
Total length: 398.8 ft.
Deck width: 64.0 ft.
Vertical clearance above deck: 13.5 ft.
Recognition
Posted to the National Register of Historic Places
Also called
DuSable Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+41.88861, -87.62417   (decimal degrees)
41°53'19" N, 87°37'27" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
16/448217/4637597 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Chicago Loop OE E
Inventory numbers
IL 016-6035 (Illinois bridge number)
BH 15152 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection (as of 10/2011)
Deck condition rating: Satisfactory (6 out of 9)
Superstructure condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Satisfactory (6 out of 9)
Appraisal: Functionally obsolete
Sufficiency rating: 57.3 (out of 100)
Average daily traffic (as of 2010)
37,900

Update Log 

  • May 21, 2016: New Street View added by Douglas Butler
  • January 22, 2016: New photos from Royce and Bobette Haley
  • December 22, 2015: New Street View added by Douglas Butler
  • October 5, 2014: New photo from Douglas Butler
  • July 11, 2014: New photos from Andrew Raker
  • June 6, 2014: Updated by Roger Deschner: Add more detailed description
  • January 24, 2014: New photos from Douglas Butler
  • September 12, 2013: New Street View added by Douglas Butler
  • May 17, 2010: New photos from J.R. Manning
  • February 4, 2008: New photos from James McCray

Sources 

Comments 

Michigan Avenue Bridge
Posted September 8, 2007, by Tom Staley (thomass [at] nc [dot] rr [dot] com)

Photo taken Sept. 7, 2007