Chicago Landmarks

Illinois Central Railroad Swing Bridge 1

Illinois Central Railroad Swing Bridge 1, Historic American Engineering Record     Address: North of 35th St., between Pulaski and Lawndale Avenues
Year Built: 1898 - 1900
Architect: Sanitary District of Chicago
Date Designated a Chicago Landmark: December 12, 2007

Pivot mechanism, Historic American Engineering Record The Illinois Central Railroad Swing Bridge is one of only a few surviving swing-span railroad bridges in Chicago. The bridge, which dates from the late 19th century, was part of the system of fifteen bridges constructed by the Sanitary District of Chicago to cross the Sanitary and Ship Canal. Construction on the Canal began in 1892; at its completion in 1900, the 28-mile waterway effectively reversed the natural flow of the Chicago River from east to west. The bridge¿s span is set atop a central pier, which when fully open creates a navigable channel on either side of the pier. The bridge rests on ashlar limestone abutments on the river embankments while its center pier is made of cast concrete and limestone. It was originally built for the short-line Illinois Northern Railroad, which was part of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe. The bridge's operating machinery has been removed and its span is locked in fixed position.