100th St Bridge - Calumet River
The first bridge built at 100th street is the current bridge. Construction started in July 1925 and the leaves were first lowered into place in February of 1927. It was opened to traffic on September 24, 1927. The permanent bridgehouses were completed in 1928.
A bridge at this location had been considered since 1899, but problems with appropriations plagued the process. Funding was not obtained until a $1.1 million bond issue was passed in 1924, which allowed the bridge to be started. In 1926, a $200,000 bond issue was passed to complete the span.
This bridge was opened during a term of Mayor William “Big Bill” Thompson, so naturally there was a big parade. As described in the Chicago Tribune, there was more than 1,400 autos, floats, and displays driven through streets lined with 30,000 spectators. A naval parade on the river which included a 500 ft. ore carrying ship.
Evidently the care and enthusiasm given to the bridge construction did not transfer to the construction of the approaches which remained unpaved and rough for two or three blocks on either side of the bridge. As reported in the Chicago Tribune:
“The committee in charge of the celebration attending the opening arranged a parade route that would be tough going for the 1,400 autos in it, with the purpose, it was hinted, to give Mayor Thompson an impressive object lesson. After the mayor hit the second bump, which bounced him out of his seat, he made the chauffeur slow down to a coal rock pace.”
More information about this bridge can be found at Historicbridges.org.