Monday, July 22, 2019

Ogden Avenue overpass for BNSF/BN/CB&Q in Cicero, IL

(no Bridge Hunter; Satellite, the overpass was torn down in 1998)

eypilot13 Flickr 1988 Photo
3/17/88: The great steel bridge that brought Ogden Avenue over the East end of Cicero Yard. I miss this cool bridge!
This is a northeast view, the factory in the background (part of the former Western Electric complex is, of course, long gone and now a Menards is in that location.

Bill Neill shared
Milo Mckain Double stack would never make it.

Joe Sonderman posted
July 1, 1939 – A million dollar grade separation on Highway 66 and at Ogden and Cicero Avenues opened to traffic. The 1,900 foot long viaduct at the time was the largest single highway structure ever erected in the Chicago area. Prior to completion, Ogden (US 66 and 34) and Cicero shared a tight four lane roadway under the Burlington Railroad.
Don Weixl That is a wild looking bridge. A very unique support for the 2nd and 3rd bridge span.
Larry Howard The old roller coaster bridge.
Timothy Leppert I was on site representing the Burlington when the demolition contractors deconstructed it. They walked along those top girders carrying cutting torches....period.

rte66, Item 3
Lost RR Viaduct on Ogden Ave. in Cicero (Ogden at Cicero Ave.). Date Built:  1938; rehabbed in 1959; removed in 1999 (not replaced). Type: 24-sman mix of pony and Warren Through Truss with Verticals.
[Actually, it was eventually replaced, but with an underpass.]

Edward Kwiatkowski posted
The former Burlington Northern Railroad Clyde Yard in Cicero Illinois. June 1985.
ShutterStock has the bridge in the background.

"The street follows the route of the Southwestern Plank Road, which opened in 1848 across swampy terrain between Chicago and Riverside, Illinois, and was extended to Naperville by 1851." [Wikipedia] I see from Google Maps that it was part of the Historic US-66 in Cicero. In Downers Grove it still is part of US-34. Our local museum has preserved a plank from the road.

Before this overpass was built, Ogden joined Cicero Avenue south of the tracks, used the Cicero Avenue underpass, then headed east again. In the aerial below, we can see they have built the piers (red rectangles) and the embankment and steel girders for the western approach (yellow rectangle). They also seem to be constructing the truss on the approach to then move east over the piers.
1938 Aerial Photo from ILHAP
I've seen this bridge in the background of photos of Clyde Yard, for example Flickr and Flickr. I have not been able to determine why this bridge was torn down. Was it a clearance issue for autoracks and double-stack containers or did the state let the bridge rot away? Jerry's photo above shows that it had four lanes, which is the current capacity of Ogden.

Rob Olewinski Cmraseye posted
Milwaukee 261 on the east end of Clyde Yard, Cicero, IL on 8/29/98, sliding under the Ogden Ave. overpass being dismantled. K64
Its removal must have been an emergency, because in Mar, 1999, the overpass is gone, but work has just started on the underpass for 25th Place.
Goolge Earth Pro, 3/21/1999
Goolge Earth Pro, 1/7/2000
They finally restored access from Ogden to Cicero so that the old underpass could be used again.

Goolge Earth Pro, 10/10/2000
In the 3/20/2001 image, a cloud is in the way, but they are still digging dirt.

Three years later, they finally had today's replacement done. It seems to me that an overpass for Ogden's traffic was a better solution for Ogden. But this configuration may be a better solution for the parade of intermodal trucks that go to the BNSF yard. Also, I-290 was supposed to relieve the traffic load for Ogden. But, for years, I-290 is clogged whenever I go to town independent of the hour of the day and the day of the week. It is just a question of how long the clogs are.
Goolge Earth Pro, 2/21/2002
Looking at a 1929 topo map shows that Ogden used to share an underpass with Cicero Avenue.
1929 Englewood 1:24,000 Quadrangle
By 1953 the Ogden overpass was built. And the connection between Manufacturers' Junction and the east end of CB&Q's Clyde (Cicero) Yard had been severed where it crossed Cicero Avenue.
1953 Englewood 1:24,000 Quadrangle
The latest topo map that is available is 1997.
1929 Englewood 1:24,000 Quadrangle

Edward Kwiatkowski posted
The former Burlington Northern Railroad Clyde Yard in Cicero Illinois. June 1985.
Mike Croy When I was a switchman at Corwith, I would occasionally catch the job that made a nightly delivery to the “Q” at Cicero yard. The train was generally short, consisting of LCL boxcars released of of the freight houses. It sure was a busy place in those days.
Timothy Leppert This was called the valley, a classification yard. Eastend Tower is still there, but the Ogden Avenue bridge is gone.
John Davis I noticed, no graffiti on the box cars!

1 comment:

  1. Bridge had gone weak by 1995. Right lane blocked both directions. Also weight restrictions.