Saturday, May 25, 2019

Building the 1911-22 Cal-Sag Channel

(Satellite, a comment suggested the Palos area with the moraine in the background. Unfortunately, I don't know where the moraine is. I do notice there is a Moraine Valley Community College.)

The Chicago Sanitary & Ship Canal that opened in 1900 reversed the flow of the Chicago River. In 1922, the original Cal Sag Channel was dug to reverse the flow of the Calumet Rivers. Also, the sanitary district's first water treatment plant was built. [encyclopedia.chicago] The equipment to get material up and out of the channel had changed significantly since the CS&SC construction. Note the block of dolostone that the right "crane" is removing. This 60' channel was widened in the 1960s. (I'm still looking for info on the widening.)

MWRD posted on Apr 4, 2022
Workers begin to assemble a dredge during early phases of construction for the Cal-Sag Channel on December 6, 1911.

MWRD posted on Mar 28, 2022
Construction of the Cal-Sag Channel on July 6, 1916.
 
MWRD posted on May 29, 2022
Construction of the Cal-Sag Channel in Blue Island, Illinois, on September 20, 1916. 
 
MWRD posted on Jul 28, 2022
Construction of the Cal Sag Channel in an area near Blue Island, Illinois, on December 6, 1916. 

MWRD posted
Construction of the Cal Sag Channel on April 20, 1917. The Sanitary District of Chicago (now MWRD) built the 16-mile long channel between 1911 and 1922.
Kevin Coyote-Trust Does MWRD know roughly where the pic was taken?
Joseph Obrien Looks like the Palos area with the moraine in the background.

MWRD posted
Construction of the Cal Sag Channel on April 20, 1917. The 16-mile long channel was built by the MWRD between 1911 and 1922 and connects to the Little Calumet River on the east and the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal on the west.
Stephen Casper: 4 blocks from my house. It was widened around 1955. A bike trail now runs along side of it.
 
MWRD posted on Aug 9, 2022
Construction of the Cal-Sag Channel near Blue Island, Illinois, on September 8, 1919. The channel was completed 100 years ago in 1922. 

MWRD posted on Nov 28, 2021
Construction of the Cal-Sag Channel near Blue Island, Illinois, on January 28, 1921, looking to the east showing a view of the Stony Creek outfall and Ann Street bridge.

MWRD posted
The Cal-Sag Channel under construction in Blue Island on April 19, 1921, viewed from the south channel wall showing the Stony Creek outfall and the Ann Street bridge with a concrete conveyor tower at the north end of the bridge.
 
MWRD posted on Mar 3, 2022
 Construction of the Cal-Sag Channel on April 21, 1922.
 
MWRD posted on Mar 9, 2022
Construction of the Cal-Sag Channel on July 12, 1922.

MWRD posted
Construction of the Cal Sag Channel in Blue Island, Illinois, on June 4, 1917, looking SW from the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad showing the Western Ave Bridge.

MWRD posted on Jan 12, 2022
Construction of the Cal-Sag Channel in Blue Island, Illinois, near Stony Creek on May 19, 1921. The 16-mile channel was built by the MWRD between 1911 and 1922. 

Dennis DeBruler commented on MWRD's post
You can clearly see the outflow in this 1938 aerial photo. The only bridge that hasn't changed location is the Metra/Rock Island Bridge.
https://clearinghouse.isgs.illinois.edu/.../0bwq03024.jpg

PatCamallierBooks, Courtesy of MWRD
[This was the drainage ditch through the Sag Valley that was widened into the 60' Cal Sag Channel.]

MWRD posted
Workers and a concrete mixer during the construction of the Cal-Sag Channel on September 8, 1915, viewed to the southwest in an area between La Grange Road and Route 83 

MWRD posted
Workers help to position a moveable concrete form during the construction of the Cal-Sag Channel on September 8, 1915, viewed to the southwest in an area near La Grange Road.

MWRD posted
Excavation for the Cal-Sag Channel on January 3, 1914. The Sanitary District of Chicago, now MWRD, built the 16-mile long channel from 1911 until 1922.

MWRD
Workers and drills during excavation for the Calumet Saganashkee (Cal Sag) Channel on September 3, 1912. The 16-mile channel was built by the MWRD between 1911 and 1922.

One of 39 images posted by Michael Siola, at Facebook resolution    (source)
Part of a $190m project authorized by Congress in 1946. The 16.2-mile channel was widened from 60' to 225' and the bridge clearances were raised from 15' to 25'.
 
MWRD posted on Apr 26, 2022
Construction of the Cal Sag Channel on October 6, 1914.
 
MWRD posted on May 7, 2022
Construction of the Cal Sag Channel on October 6, 1914.

MWRD posted on May 20, 2022
Construction of the Cal-Sag Channel on December 6, 1916.


MWRD posted
Construction of a bridge at Piper Road (now Ridgeland Avenue) over the under-construction Cal-Sag Channel in Worth, Illinois, on July 24, 1917. The 16-mile Cal-Sag Channel was completed 100 years ago this year, with construction beginning in 1911 and ending in 1922.

There are many more photos of the construction in 1922 Blue Island Lock.



















6 comments:

  1. Nice pictures. A moraine is an accumulation of rock and debris deposited by a glacier after it melts. The Palos area was the furthest site of glaciers during the last ice age.

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  2. What are some common type of rock that was left behind?

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    Replies
    1. The moraines consist of all sort of rocks scraped down here from the north, including granite. They talk about erratic granite boulders in Illinois that were pushed here by glaciers. But the bedrock they are digging through in the photo is either limestone or dolostone.
      https://industrialscenery.blogspot.com/2014/08/limestone-vs-dolomite-vs-dolostone.html
      The bedrock close to the surface around here tends to be dolostone because it is more resistant to erosion.

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  3. I went to the bridgehunter.com website and it documents 22 of the current or former rail and road bridges that cross the Cal-Sag Channel. The earliest construction date of the bridges is 1933 (including the multiple railroad bridges). If the canal was completed in 1922 but the bridges over the canal were not completed until 1933 how did trains and auto's get over the canal during that first 11 year period? I imagine the railroads had their tracks already in place well prior to 1922, it does not seem they would have tolerated an 11 year disruption to their mainlines waiting for the bridges over the canal to be constructed?

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    Replies
    1. The needed bridges for the original 60' canal were built as needed and all were complete when the canal was complete in 1922. But in the 1930s, there was evidently another project to widen at least a part of the canal. Then in the 1960s there was another widening project. I don't know the details about the two widening projects.

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