Slice of Life: The Byrne Interchange’s Bridges to Nowhere
Nov06

Slice of Life: The Byrne Interchange’s Bridges to Nowhere

  Chicago survived the overnight closures while crews installed beams for the new Jane Byrne Interchange Flyover this summer, but there remains a tremendous amount of work to be done throughout the complicated junction. Not only does the Flyover itself need to be completed, but there’s also the matter of reconnecting the Dan Ryan to Congress Parkway, rebuilding what will be the north-bound lanes of the Halsted Street bridge...

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World’s First Chicago-Type Drawbridge Undergoing Repair in Bucktown
Sep08

World’s First Chicago-Type Drawbridge Undergoing Repair in Bucktown

The Cortland Street Bridge on Chicago’s north side crosses the Chicago River’s North Branch four miles above the mouth of the Chicago River at Lake Michigan. In 1982, the American Society of Civil Engineers recognized this bridge as an Engineering Landmark. It received Chicago Landmark status in 1991. To the frustration of area residents, this bridge has been closed to street traffic since June so the Chicago Department of...

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Neighbor News: Engineering Firm HNTB Hits A Home Run With Musial Bridge Honors
Aug17

Neighbor News: Engineering Firm HNTB Hits A Home Run With Musial Bridge Honors

HNTB is on a roll. The architecture, civil engineering and construction management firm had already received kudos for its work on the Chicago Lakefront Trail—nominated for the Best Urban Trail Award. Now the company has another big nomination: it’s a finalist in the 2015 NCSEA Excellence in Structural Engineering Awards. The project that’s earned this nomination is the I-70 Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge that connects Saint...

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Will the Burgeoning South Loop Ever Get Its Two Missing Chicago River Bridges Back?
Jul27

Will the Burgeoning South Loop Ever Get Its Two Missing Chicago River Bridges Back?

  The South Branch of the Chicago River is marked by bridges at every street it meets from Lake all the way down to Harrison.  Ten bridges in all, and then suddenly — nothing.  Aerial images from Google and Apple Maps clearly show there used to be a bridge at the next junction, Polk Street, and two blocks down at Taylor Street.  But they no longer cross the South Branch of the Chicago River. Over the past couple decades, as the...

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Status Update: Navy Pier Flyover
Jul06

Status Update: Navy Pier Flyover

The Chicago Department of Transportation is making swift progress on the hike/bike/run/walk/skate/whatever bridge and ramp complex that will help non-drivers bypass the chaos of the intersection of Lake Shore Drive and Navy Pier Land. More towers and more spans will soon go up, making the Navy Pier Flyover look even more like the high-tech bridge that it is. 42nd Ward Alderman Brendan Reilly has the skinny in this e-mail he sent to...

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What’s Going On With the Division Street Bridges?
May26

What’s Going On With the Division Street Bridges?

In July 2014, the Chicago Department of Transportation undertook an emergency $6 million project to replace the 111-year-old East Division Street Bridge. In June 2013, the biennial inspection determined the bridge was, in engineering terms, “structurally deficient.” It does not mean unsafe, rather, it means the bridge “requires significant maintenance and repair to remain in service and eventual rehabilitation or replacement to...

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Chicago Bridge Tours Return for a Second Season
May12

Chicago Bridge Tours Return for a Second Season

Good news if you missed the limited number of boat tours about Chicago’s moving bridges last year — they’re back for this year! The Chicago Architecture Blog’s bridge expert, Patrick McBriarty, will once again host the tours on the Wendella fleet. There will be six tour dates this year, so check the press release below for the details. And speaking of Mr. McBriarty, congratulations are in order because his childrens’ book Drawbridges...

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Status Update: Navy Pier Flyover
May07

Status Update: Navy Pier Flyover

As spring slowly yields to summer and the phrase “cooler by the lake” starts to sound more like refreshment than punishment, lakeside activities are starting to sound like a good idea. Also a good lakeside idea — the Navy Pier Flyover, now well underway at the intersection of East Grand Avenue and North Lake Shore Drive in Streeterville. The Chicago Architecture Blog’s Daniel Schell flew over there the other day to...

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Ponce on Pontes: Chicago River Bridges Discussed on WTTW
Apr17

Ponce on Pontes: Chicago River Bridges Discussed on WTTW

One of the best local news and public affairs programs in Chicagoland turned its lenses on Chicago’s bridges the other night.  And right there in the spotlight was The Chicago Architecture Blog’s own Patrick McBriarty.  Anchor Phil Ponce interviewed Mr. McBriarty about his recent book Chicago River Bridges, which is timely since the 2015 bridge lift season starts tomorrow. You can watch the interview below.  And to get a...

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Z6: Chicago’s Most Unique and Still Working Swing Bridge
Mar03

Z6: Chicago’s Most Unique and Still Working Swing Bridge

A relatively unknown but still active swing bridge crosses the North Branch of the Chicago River at a bend in the waterway roughly one block south of Cortland Street. Built in 1899 by the Chicago, Milwaukee and Saint Paul Railway (commonly referred to as the Milwaukee Road), this bobtail swing bridge is still active. Due to its very low river clearance, it is normally left in the open position so as not to impede barge and river...

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