Posted in dormant chicago bridges, GR21, the world around us by hemmant jha on April 7, 2009

more images of the bridge featured in 49.1.

Since this is the third post devoted to this particular bridge, it’s time it had a name. I hereby christen it Ben.

Appearances notwithstanding, I am not a bridge groupie. I go to Chinatown fairly often for my fix of Sumiyaki Coffee at the Saint’s Alp Teahouse [1] – the bridge happens to be on the way and it is impossible to miss.

I happen to like this one in particular for its looks, its intent and its straightforward, gutsy engineering solution. While there’s nothing elegant about it [a Calatrava bridge it is not], there’s something endearing about its simplicity – two towers, aligned to fit on the skewed site, each supporting a large concrete counterweight and mechanisms to raise and lower the weights. In response, the portion of the bridge that spans the river rises to allow passage of boats and barges. Simple in concept and execution – steel held together with rivets. Design that works.






3 Responses

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  1. Stacey Summers Joyce said, on May 2, 2009 at 7:07 pm

    Hey Hemmant,

    These are some great shots with amazing perspectives…I would be interested in talking some photography with you some time!

    Happy clicking!

  2. Cody said, on November 22, 2009 at 4:35 pm

    Thanks for the post. I live nearby and enjoy a great view of this bridge. It was in action several times recently as sailboats were brought downriver from the lakefront harbor to the storage yard located just west of the bridge. The park in Chinatown just east of the bridge is a great spot for appreciating it. If it’s in season, a fun way to reach the park is by taking a water taxi from downtown. I was wondering if you’ve also documented the “double bridge” on the river @ approx. 1600 S. While the southern bridge is still used regularly by freight trains. The northern one seems to be permanently cocked at 45 degrees.

  3. hemmant jha said, on November 23, 2009 at 10:38 pm

    hello Cody, I’m glad you enjoyed the pictures. As for the northern bridge, I’ve been interested in photographing that permanently cocked bridge for a while now, but have been turned away by the local constabulary a couple of times already. Why? I’ve no idea, since it is not in use anymore and a bit of publicity could pose no possible danger to it. I’ll try again-

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