Status Update: The Wells Street Bridge – Stay Away From Those Cans
Jul17

Status Update: The Wells Street Bridge – Stay Away From Those Cans

The Wells Street Bridge is the Navin R. Johnson of the Chicago River bridges — Shiny, new, and much paler than its brothers. Unlike Navin, however, Wells isn’t doomed to stay that color. The new Wells Street Bridge, all million pounds of it, is now in place and being re-woven into the fabric of Chicago’s transportation system. CTA Brown and Purple Line trains are moving freely over its upper deck, and the outrigger...

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A Historic Look at the Changing Leaves on the Wells Street Bridge
Apr26

A Historic Look at the Changing Leaves on the Wells Street Bridge

The year-long project of replacing the Wells Street Bridge over the main branch of the Chicago River reaches another critical phase this weekend. The north leaf of the the double-decker bascule bridge will be replaced with a brand new 2,100-ton leaf, constructed off-site and floated into place a couple of weeks ago. The removal of the northern half of the span means that CTA trains won’t be able to cross it from 10pm tonight...

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Connecting Streeterville to the Loop for 30 Years
Oct31

Connecting Streeterville to the Loop for 30 Years

One of Chicago’s most traveled bridges celebrates its birthday today.  The Columbus Drive Bridge, spanning the main channel of the Chicago River, was opened on this day — Halloween — in 1982. It’s hard to imagine having to jog all the way over to Michigan Avenue or Lower Lake Shore drive just to go from Streeterville to Grant Park, but that was the situation until this span was built.  And for those of us who...

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Double Decker Spans
Jun23

Double Decker Spans

It’s the everyday engineering wonders that hold a city together.  Some of those that Chicagoans take for granted are the city’s double-decker bridges. Lots of big cities like New York and Tokyo have double-decker spans, but those are long, modern, fixed spans.  In Chicago, we make even the short, ordinary, neighborhood bridges double-decker.  And we make them move. The two easiest examples are the Lake Street and Wells...

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