Wells St. Bridge Reconstruction - North Leaf


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The reconstruction of the north leaf of the Wells St. bridge began as scheduled on April 27th 2013. The new river arm was delivered on April 6th. The first slide show chronicles the removal of the old river arm.


  • New river arm 4/13/2013
  • Moving barges on 4/27/2013
  • River traffic through the construction site 4/27/2013
  • Cutting the top cord 4/27/2013
  • Cutting the intermediate cords 4/27/2013
  • Cutting the bottom cords 4/27/2013
  • Old river arm resting on barg 4/27/2013
  • Old river arm removed 4/27/2013
  • Old river arm docked 4/28/2013
  • Prep work for the new river arm 4/28/2013


The video below shows the removal of the old river arm after it was cut from the trunnion end of the bridge leaf. The actual duration of the move was about 8 minutes. The video was sped up and lasts about a minute. The operation reminded me of jockeying out of a tight parallel parking spot. Hopefully the video quality is good enough to see that.



The slide show below shows the installation of the new river arm on the north leaf. The photos span two days. Progress on the north leaf at this point was about 8 hrs ahead of the work on the south leaf.


  • North leaf stub ready for the new river arm.
  • New river arm ready for the move
  • New river arm in place
  • Attaching the new river arm
  • Finishing the truss panel connecting the stub with the new river arm
  • North leaf self-supporting


This last slide show provides some photos of the last portion of the work on the north leaf. As was the case with the reconstruction of the south leaf, everyone involved deserves a hearty "thank you" from the citizens of Chicago for a job well done.

  • Finishing the connections on the North Leaf (5/1/2013).
  • South leaf lowered into position (5/2/2013).
  • From the water taxi (5/5/2013).
  • Looking from N-S through the Wells St. bridge (5/6/2013).
  • Track-side view of the new bridge (5/6/2013).
  • North leaf completed (5/6/2013).