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The current bridge is the first river crossing connecting North Franklin Street on the south shore with North Orleans Street on the north shore of the main branch of the Chicago River. The primary purpose of this bridge was to help alleviate heavy traffic on the West Lake and North Wells street bridges. (Today it carries 17,000 vehicles per day, 4th highest in the group.)
The pony trusses on this bridge are the first to achieve graceful rounded lines over the entire span, especially when compared to the trusses used on the Washington Street and Monroe Street bridges.
The bridge tender houses are on the NW and SE corners of the bridge.
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