Remote Control Crawler Hefts Recycled Chicago Bridge Into Place

Bloom-14

An unmanned, electronically-controlled hydraulic device provided the brawn Saturday afternoon to place the former Ashland Avenue Bridge over Western Avenue. It’s a key piece of the patchwork improvements of The 606 (aka “Bloomingdale Trail”) project.

Walsh Construction worker bees scurried to and fro around the bridge preparing its intricate movement into place.

The bridge started its journey to its new home in the early morning hours down North Avenue. It took about 15 minutes for the robotic contraption to turn the bridge. It started parallel to Western and after the slow turn counterclockwise, it now connects two chunks of The 606.

Beyond the impressive display of engineering, the Western Avenue bridge is a prime example of adaptive reuse.

Bill Motchan

Author: Bill Motchan

Bill Motchan is a writer and photographer, and a former resident of the West Loop. He can be reached at bill@ChicagoArchitecture.org.

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