Archer Avenue Bridge #1
Archer Avenue Bridge
Archer Avenue Bridge #2
Archer Avenue Swing Bridge #2
Inter Ocean, June 2, 1901
The many residents of the southwestern part of the city, who, in going from their homes to the down-town district are compelled to cross the old bridge that spans the South branch of the Chicago river at Archer avenue, have decided that something must be done to change the conditions which its dilapidated condition brings about. They cross it with fear for themselves and always consider themselves lucky it they are not delayed from ten minutes to an hour.
For fifty years this old wooden bridge has furnished the only outlet for residents of the southwestern district who come daily down town over Archer avenue. Since the trolley line was extended and traffic in Archer avenue became heavy, this bridge has become to be considered a menace to all who have to cross it. Although the bridge is a long one and has to be swung many times a day, it is turned only by hand.
Joseph Palecek, the bridge-tender, says that the machinery on which the bridge swings is in as bad a condition as the upper structure. He says that every time the bridge is opened it causes a blockade in the street on both sides of the river which cannot be cleared for half an hour, because after it in closed only one car can cross it at a time, and this same rule applies to large wagons.
The bridge was condemned long ago as dangerous, but for lack of funds it remains in service, although ready for the junkman. Those who use it now declare that the situation will be brought to the attention of the common council tomorrow night. MayorHarrison is liberally criticized for not paying more attention to bridges.
Inter Ocean, December 4, 1904
“Archey Road” in the Past.—The old red bridge which for the last thirty-five years has done service on Archer avenue over the south branch of the Chicago river is to be replaced with a bascule structure of the most modern type, to cost $147,000.
The completion of the bridge will be in the nature of a finishing touch to public and private improvements that have transformed the appearance and character of this historic thoroughfare within a decade.
Contrary to general belief, Archer avenue was not originally a highway created by the team traffic of pioneer days, like Cottage Grove avenue, Milwaukee avenue, Ogden avenue, Lake avenue, Clybourn avenue, and Evanston avenue. On the contrary, it was created by the builders of Chicago for a special purpose.
The first board of Illinois and Michigan canal commissioners, appointed in 1836 by Governor Duncan, included Colonel William B. Archer, a large land owner. When all the preliminaries for the construction of the canal were arranged it became necessary, in order to facilitate the work, that a roadway be laid out from Chicago to Lockport, running nearly parallel with the canal, and it was proposed that the cost of the road—$40,000—be raised from the sale of public lands. The advisability of the expenditure was questioned, because Colonel Archer owned much property at Lockport, which the road seemed designed to benefit. In other words, it was believed by some that Colonel Archer was using his official place and influence in his own interest. However, the necessity for the highway was so evident that the critics were silenced. The street was laid out, and, in vindication of Colonel Archer, christened “Archer’s Road.”
As Archer’s Road it was known for many years. In the course of time Bridgeport, which was originally a quiet little hamlet, became a great center of industry, by reason of the removal of the stock yards to its vicinity from the West Side. Archer’s Road was the most direct route to Bridgeport, and naturally grew to the importance of a city thoroughfare.
The establishment of rolling mills and other factories added to the increase of the industrial population tributary to the Road, and the immense amounts dispensed to workingmen in waqges weekly made it a most desirable thoroughfare for cheap saloons, which in turn attracted and harbored the idle and reckless.
“Archey Road” was a term of endearment conferred upon it by the old residenters, and though the city council had officially declared its name to be Archer avenue, it is “Archey Road” to this day in the mouths of of the old settlers.
It was a never a street given over to vice, as that term is applied to “Cheyenne” and the “Levee,” for instance. The great majority of the inhabitants were decent people. The crimes committed on “Archey Road”—and many of them were committed near the old red bridge which is now to be removed—were perpetrated by desperadoes who had nothing in common with the working people=, and who haunted the district only to prey upon them.
Chicago Tribune, July 23, 1905
“Mr. Dooley’s old red bridge on A-archey road” is to be replaced by a modern structure. Supt. Pihkfeldt has ordered it demolished, and a temporary bridge for the use of street care and pedestrians will be opened today.
Work on the new bridge will begin immediately, and when completed the structure will represent a cost of $200,000.
“Mr. Dooley’s” bridge when erected in 1870 cost $11,000.
Archer (“Archey”) Avenue Bridge
Robinson Fire Map
Archer Avenue Bridge #3
Inter Ocean, November 24, 1906
ARCHER AVENUE BRIDGE READY.
New $155,000 Structare WIll Be Opened to Trattle Today.
The new Archer avenue bridge will be open for traffic this morning, according to a statement made by the city bridge engineer yesterday. The bridge Is 212 feet long and 66 feet wide, and allows a passage of 107 feet. for vessels between pier projections. The total weight of the bridge, including the span and the metal used, 2,165 tons. Work on the new bridge was begun Sept. 7, 1905. The approximate cost Is $155.000.
Chicago Tribune, November 25, 1906
Archer Avenue Bridge (#3) Opened.
After over a year employed in its construction, the new Archer avenue bridge was opened for traffic yesterday morning. The bridge was built by the FirtzSimons & Connell company and the Roemheld & Gallery company and the cost was $150,000. It is 212 feet long, 60 feet wide, and allows a passage of 107 feet for vessels between pier projections.
Archer Avenue Bridge #4
Chicago Tribune, June 2, 1962
Approve Archer Av. Bridge (#3)
The council approved an ordinance authorizing construction of a fixed bridge to carry vehicle traffic over the south branch of the Chicago River at Archer avenue. The bridge, costing $1,150,000, will replace a bascule bridge built in the last century.
Chicago Tribune, May 19, 1963
Archer Avenue Bridge Dedication Is Slated
The new Archer avenue bridge, 1.2 million dollar structure spanning the south branch of the Chicagi river just east of Ashland av., will be dedicated in a ceremony at 11:15 a.m. Tuesday (May 21), it was announced yesterday. The six-lane fixed bridge is 93 feet wide and 217 feet long.
Bridgeport News, May 22, 1963
Mayor Richard J. Daley and a group of city officials and area business and civic leaders opened the new South Archer Avenue Bridge at ceremonies held Tuesday morning, May 21st at 11:15 A.M.
The Mayor pushed aside a large barrier and gave the go-signal to the first vehicular traffic to use the new six-lane $1,200,000. structure. Construction was started in January of 1962.
Traffic movement through the busy Archer-Ashland intersection will be speeded up considerably through the use of the new six-lane bridge, according to city officials.
Commissioner of Public Works George L. DeMent was master of ceremonies at the bridge opening. In attndance was Commissioner Lloyd M. Johnson of the Department of Streets and Sanitation, Alderman Stanley J. Nowakowski of the eleventh ward, and Alderman Arthur V. Zelezinski of the twelfth ward.
STATISTICS AND DATA
Type of structure: Three span fixed bridge, providing for six traffic lanes. Has steel superstructure with concrete deck supported on concrete piers and abutments resting on cylindrical sub-piers to rock. Designed to be integrated with existing Archer-Ashland Over-pass, completed in 1958.
Total cost: $1,200,000.00
Bridge width: 93 feet.
Roadway widths: Two three-lane roadways each 38 feet wide.
Sidewalks: Two, each 8 feet wide, of concrete.
Roadway decking: 7 inch reinforced concrete slab with 2 inch black top surfacing.
Length of river bridge: 217 feet from abutment to abutment.
Underbridge clearance: 16.25 feet above Chicago Datum for a channel width of 96 feet.
Structural steel: 1,200,000 lbs.
Design loading: American Association of State Highway Officials H20-S-16-44.
Span Lengths: 31 feet, 138.5 feet and 48 feet.
Substructure: Reinforced concrete piers to rock. Two abutments constructed on former bridge pit.
Superstructure: Structural steel supporting concrete deck.
Lighting: Modern 20,000 lumen mercury vapor lights.
Engineering: Designs, contract plans, specifications and supervision of construction by Division of Bridges and Viaducts.
Opened to traffic: May, 1963.
STATISTICS AND DATA OLD ARCHER AVENUE BRIDGE
Type: Three Truss Single Leaf Trunnion Bascule Bridge.
Opened to traffic: December 15, 1906.
Bridge roadway width: 2 roadways each 18 feet wide.
Total width: 60 feet including sidewalks.
Length: 171 feet, 10 inches.
Sidewalks: 7 feet, 9 inches.
Under bridge clearance: 15 feet, 10 inches for a width of 100 feet.
Archer Avenue Bridge #5
Chicago Tribune, August 16, 2005
A $13.6 million bridge and road project began Monday on two sections of Archer Avenue.
During construction, Archer Avenue will be reduced to one lane in each direction from Pitney Court to Paulina Street.
During the work, left turns will be prohibited from Archer onto Ashland Avenue.
The first job is reconstruction of the Archer Avenue Bridge, which was built over the Chicago River in 1963. The work will include replacement of a deck and new structural steel, according to the Chicago Department of Transportation.
The other segment is an attempt to alleviate traffic problems at Archer and Ashland Avenues by redesigning the intersection.
An overpass at Archer will be permanently removed and traffic bound for Interstate Highway 55 will be routed onto Robinson Street. Robinson will be redesigned.