Thursday, February 27, 2020

Division Street Bridges over I&M Canal, Des Plaines River and CS&SC at Lockport, IL

DPR Bridge, 1899: (Bridge Hunter; Historic Bridges3D Satellite)
CS&SC Bridge, 1905-1993: (Bridge Hunter; HAER; Satellite, gone)
I&M Canal Bridge: (Bridge Hunter; 3D Satellite)

CS&SC = Chicago Sanitary & Ship Canal

Bill Law posted
The Old entrance to Lockport, IL over the Desplaines river, off U.S. 66 (Route 53). Abandoned. Division Street
Dennis DeBruler The shape of the trusses indicates that you were on the west side and the island indicates that you were on the north side.
There is a third truss buried in the trees on the far side.,-88.../data=!3m1!1e3

When I first came to the Chicagoland area, I not only drove Division Street from State Street in Lockport to IL-53, I went south on an access road along the SC&CS to visit the Lockport Lock. Now Division Street is closed to the public between Praire Avenue in Lockport and the Lockport Prairie Nature Preserve. This is what you encounter when you head east along Division Street in the preserve.

20150702 2416

Jeremy Brzycki got a better view past the trees of the trusses over the DuPage River.
Jeremy Brzycki posted
Ben Felber Wow alot to dial for an emergency....911 would be quicker.
Josh Anders Ben Felber and 911 would have to call one of them numbers to open a Damn or somthing. 911 wouldn't be much help there unless people where under water already.
Adam J. Bader Sr. What causes the water flows?
Dennis DeBruler A sudden change would be caused by these control gates being opened to lower the level of the water in the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal.,-88.../data=!3m1!1e3
I don't know when the last time was that they were opened.

The MWRD got an even better view back when it was being used. 
MWRD posted
Dennis DeBruler commented on MWRD's post
I was surprised that the bridge across the CS&SC in the background was on a significant angle to this bridge. But a topo map confirms that the bobtail bridge was over the canal.
1954 Joliet Quadrangle @ 1:24,000
I remember when I came to the Chicago area in the 1970s that I took Division Street to the road along the canal to go to the visitor center at the lock. And then I continued across these bridges to get to IL-7. Now Division Street is closed before you can get to the lock's access road.
maybe the bridge in the back is swung open letting a barge pass
It did. A bobtail bridge is a swing bridge with an offset. This bridge was very similar to the 135th Street Bridge that is now preserved in a forest preserve.

Bob Dodge commented on Jeremy's post
West Division Street Lockport Illinois
["Bridge has a slight curve between pratt span and Main Parker Spain." [Bridge Hunter]]
It takes more guts than I have to go down the access road along the west side of the CS&SC canal to get to here to take the above photo. I chicken out when I encounter the gates across the access road.

Joel Craig posted
This is the seldom-seen east side of the Division St bridge near Lockport, IL. Back in the day, Division St. connected Rt. 53 to the west, and IL 171 through the heart of Lockport. This iron bridge spans the DesPlaines River, and then a swing bridge crossed the Sanitary and Ship Canal. On the east side of the canal, there was a sharp bend in the road, and then Division continued into town. It was "a thing" to see how fast you could drive across these one lane bridges and make the quick bend, without wrecking your car. The west side of this bridge is blocked off, but accessible in the Lockport Prairie Forest Preserve property. This photo was taken from an access road on Water Reclamation Dist. property.

The top photo in eBook has a 1948 view of the three truss spans.

The Bridge Hunter page for this multiple-truss bridge has several photos by three people. They recognized the historic significance of these pin-connected trusses.

The bobtail bridge that used to go over the canal is similar to the 135th Street Bridge that has been preserved in a Forest Preserve.
Photo from HAER ILL,99-LOCK,3B--7 (CT) from il0435

GENERAL VIEW OF THE BRIDGE IN OPERATION - Lockport Historic District, Chicago Sanitary & Ship Canal, Swing Bridge, Sixteenth Street, Lockport, Will County, IL

There is something wrong with the view above because the view below looks more appropriate. Is the canal partially drained above so that they could do work on the bridge? Both views have the 9th Street Bridge in the background, so they are both looking North.
Photo from HAER ILL,99-LOCK,3B--1 from il0435
This is the view I would expect to see for the bridge in operation.
Photo from HAER ILL,99-LOCK,3B--5 from il0435

This old aerial view shows that there was a jog in Division Street to accommodate the bridges.
1939 Aerial Photo from ILHAP
Was the 1939 photo taken during a drought? The river is significantly narrower than today's river.

Even the plain bridge over the I&M canal has changed since I first came to the Chicago area. In fact, this one changed since I started writing this blog in May 2014. On one of my trips to check out Lock #1, I noticed that Division Street was closed over the canal. Below is the old bridge. You can see the steel I-beams that were added under the deck as a "patch" to prolong its life.
Photo by Steve Conro via Bridge Hunter

This street view shows the replacement bridge.
Street View

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