Sunday, March 1, 2020

9th Street Bridges (IL-7) over Des Plaines River and CS&SC at Lockport, IL

1868 stone arch: (Bridge HunterHAER; Satellite, removed 2011)
1903 bobtail: (Bridge Hunter confuses Division/16th Street Bridge with 9th Street Bridge)
1950s slab: (Satellite)
1972 high slab: (no Bridge Hunter; Satellite)

CS&SC = Chicago Sanitary & Ship Canal

1868 Stone Arch Bridge

eBook has an 1880s photo of the 1868 bridge as it was built. Below is a photo of the modification made in 1903 to connect to the new bobtail bridge over the extension of the CS&SC to the powerhouse. (A bobtail bridge is an asymmetric swing bridge.) Specifically, the stone parapet was removed and replaced by a concrete ramp up to the level of the bobtail bridge.

1974 HAARGIS photo via Bridge Hunter, looking Northwest
This description in Bridge Hunter for the Division Street Bridge was copied from a different HAER record. The HAER record for the Division Street Bridge is correct.
The original Stone Arch Bridge was constructed in 1868-69, and provided access from Lockport to the western part of Will County and to Kendall County. The bridge has seven arches of approximately 28 feet each, and was built of local limestone. As constructed, the bridge also had stone parapets measuring about 4-1/2 to 5-1/2 feet high. The piers are reinforced with stone buttresses which, in turn, are protected by timbers from ice floes, barges, etc. The opening of the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal in 1900, and the concern about possible flooding led to alterations in about 1903. The Chicago S&S Canal was extended for an additional three miles, and dikes constructed along either side so the canal could be raised as much as fifteen feet above the surrounding area. The embankment was of concrete, with an earthen fill. The parapets on the bridge were removed, and the grade of the crossing raised with poured concrete. The arches remain intact.-- Historic American Engineering Record
This description obviously applies to the original 9th Street Bridge. I was able to find the HAER report that had this description.
Photo from HAER ILL,99-LOCK,9--1 from il0433


Photo from HAER ILL,99-LOCK,9--2 from il0433

STONE ARCH BRIDGE. TIMBERS ON THE UPSTREAM FACE OF THE PIER PROTECTED THE STONEWORK FROM DAMAGE FROM ICE FLOWS, BARGES, ETC. - Lockport Historic District, Stone Arch Bridge, Spanning Des Plaines River at Ninth Street, Lockport, Will County, IL

2004 HAARGIS photo via Bridge Hunter, looking South

2004 HAARGIS photo via Bridge Hunter
[How did the deck get enough dirt on it to support all of that vegetation?]
The following two images from Global Earth capture the before and after view of the bridge.

I include two older images of the bridge because they show how nature takes over man-made structures if they are neglected.


1903 Bobtail Bridge over the CS&SC

eBook has a photo of the bobtail bridge that was here until the high-bridge was built in 1972. This bridge is longer than the other two bobtail bridges that were built when the CS&SC was extended South of the control structure: 135th and Division. In a view looking east [eBook, second photo], we can see the handrails of the stone arch bridge.

MWRD posted
Construction of the Ninth Street swing bridge over the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal extension on November 9, 1905, near Lockport, IL.

Per Gary's comment, this bridge is in the background of the following photo.
MWRD posted
Construction of the Butterfly Dam, at left, and the west wall of the Chicago Sanitary and Shipping Canal (CSSC) channel extension at Lockport, Illinois, on June 18, 1907. Between 1903 and 1907, the Sanitary District of Chicago (now MWRD) extended the CSSC and built the Lockport Powerhouse and Lock in order to generate hydroelectric power and to allow passage of watercraft between the Des Plaines River and the CSSC. The Butterfly Dam was built in 1907 and was intended to prevent downstream flooding in the case of a failure of any part of the channel extension structures including the channel walls, powerhouse or lock. The steal leaf of the dam could be rotated to close off the flow of water in case of an emergency. Such an emergency never occurred and the Butterfly Dam was removed in 1985.
Gary Ward: The Ninth St swing bridge is visible in the background.

1950s Bridge over Des Plaines River

West of the CS&SC bridge is a bridge over the Des Plaines River. It was closed when I was trying to chase a towboat through here. It was open when I started this blog in 2014. Is it closed because the 1950s bridge is bad or because someone is even more paranoid about security. Evidently the bridge is bad because, according to Global Earth, between March and April of 2015, an alternate bridge to  MWRD's powerhouse was built.
20180708 2738

It looks like they may be fixing the bridge.
Street View, Oct 2019

The second photo on eBook shows that truss spans crossed the Des Plaines River before this 1950s bridge was built.

1972 "High" Bridge over BNSF/Santa Fe, CS&SC and Des Plaines River

The movable bridges at 135th and 9th have been replaced by bridges that are high enough over the canal that large towboats that don't have retractable pilothouses can fit under them. The top of modern bridges is boring, but the bottom can be interesting. (If you want to see the top, you can always play with Street View.) When I encountered the barricades shown above indicating that the old 9th Street Bridge was closed, I followed the example of others and parked along the road and walked across the bridge.  Walking is kinda nice because you catch photos that you would otherwise miss. This photo reminds me that the new bridge is high not only to clear towboats on the canal but because the canal itself is about 15' above the land here.
20180708 2746

This photo shows the curve in the bridge over the Des Plaines River.
Bill Molony posted
This is the 65-ton Whitcomb switch engine used by the Material Service Corporation near Lockport.
Photos by Chuck Galitz - July 7th and November 11th, 1978.

It is a good thing that this bridge is above the river traffic because eastbound traffic often backs up from the traffic light at State Street all the way across the bridge and down the right lane of IL-53. Fortunately, when I go from Joliet to Lemont, I can use the 135th Street Bridge instead. While on a bus for a tour of the Lockport Powerhouse, we got stuck in the eastbound traffic. It was a Saturday and the traffic was a mess during all of the hours that I was in the area. Since the driver was using her brake pedal instead of her accelerator pedal, I was able to catch the Robert A. Knoke travelling southbound under the bridge.




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