I was going to mention how it is now collapsed, but I see others have already done so. Here is a link to a couple of excellent photos of it. Sad. Time passes on.
Usually when I see ropes attached from railings on bridges it is for some stream output measuring device, like how much cubic feet per second, volume, for flood predictions. There might even be a NOAA or local college sticker affixed next to it. Once there were ropes on a bridge over a high dry gulch but it was for a pair of students trying to get into shape by scaling and descending the sides.
The rope length seems to rule out suicide, it is close to the wheelbarrow nearby, and construction workers could have placed the rope there as well. Many if not most suicides on bridges are people just jumping off, Aurora Bridge, Tacoma Narrows, Golden Gate, etc, places with high distances above ground. Ropes and deaths, well that reminds me of lynchings, mob vigilantes, and the Klan. Easier to attach to the overhead bracing of a truss than side of an arch since many in the angry crowd wanted to watch the proceedings.
Why is there a noose hanging from the bridge? Did someone commit suicide?
This bridge has now been completely demolished. It suffered a partial collapse in March, and is now completely gone.
This bridge has been damaged in floods. http://heraldnews.suntimes.com/news/4231538-418/historic-bridge-crumbles.html
It's interesting in the satelite picture, if you move over to the canal you can see a sunken structure in the canal. If I'm not mistaken, that is the remains of the old butterfly dam that used to be just upstream of that location where the canal narrows. The butterfly dam used to look like a through truss railroad bridge....except it was on two limestone pylons in the center of the canal and aligned with the centerline of the canal. It sat parallel to the canal out in the middle of it. The butterfly dam was meant as an emergency shut-off valve, I think, that would turn across the width of the canal at that narrow section there, to shut off the flow of water in case the lock gates were ever to collapse and let the canal water flow un-checked. There is at least one post card that shows them actually testing it and it holding back the entire 26 foot depth of water. It worked!
This bridge used to lead to a through truss swing bridge that crossed the Chicago Sanitary and ship canal. It would be just out of the picture on the left side of picture number 4. Does anyone have pictures of the 9th street swing bridge? They are hard to come by. The swing bridge was taken out of service the same time this one was because there was a new hi-rise concrete bridge that didn't need to be opened for canal traffic.