Grand Ave Bridge

Grand Ave bridge in 2015

The first bridge at this location was a swing bridge built in 1869. At that time the road was known as Indiana St.

In 1911, Indiana St. became Grand Ave. as a result of the implementation of the Brennan Plan. The goal of that plan was to apply a rational approach to naming streets and setting addresses in Chicago. Until this point in time, streets and addresses were a random hodgepodge (more info at the links below)

Planning for this bridge began in 1909. In 1910 the swing bridge was removed. A temporary pontoon foot bridge was completed in March of 1912. Construction on the bascule began in late 1912 and it was opened to traffic on December 30, 1913.

River traffic was markedly different from today. The pontoon foot bridge was operated about 19,500 times during the construction period. In the first full year of operation, the bascule was operated 2,568 times.

This bridge was a part of a group of second generation Chicago-type bridges that were completed from 1913 to 1914. This group included bridges at Washington Blvd., Chicago Ave., and Ewing Ave. (92nd). All of these bridges share similar specifications. Differences are most apparent in the operator houses.

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Sources:

CPW Annual Reports 1890; 1910-1914

Serhil Chrucky, Long Lost Loop Lanes, Forgotten Chicago

Patrick T. Reardon, Who was Edward P. Brennan? Thank heaven for Edward Brennan; 2009; The Burham Blog

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Additional information can be found at Historicbridges.org.

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