Adams Street Bridge #2 was moved to Taylor Street in 1890 and was renamed Taylor Street Bridge #1.
Taylor Street Bridge #1 was moved to 22nd Street and Ashland in 1899. The bridge fell into the river in June, 1901.
Taylor Street Bridge #2 was removed in 1928/29.
TAYLOR STREET BRIDGE #1
Chicago Tribune March 21, 1882
TAYLOR STREET BRIDGE
Ald. Lawler presented a petition from property owners in the Eighth Ward asking for a bridge at Taylor street. It was laid over.
① Chicago Transfer Railway Bridge #1
② Taylor Street Bridge #1
The Inter Ocean, May 12, 1899
The Chicago river in the vicinity of Taylor street was blocked for several hours yesterday because the old bridge which has connected East and West Taylor streets for seven years was moved to make room for the new bascule bridge which will span the river at that point. The bridge was lifted with heavy jacks by the Lyden & Drews Dredging company and placed on two big scows, end to end, the purpose being to move it to Main street, its future resting place. Owing to the condition of the bridge it was considered unsafe to start with it on its journey, and it will be braced up and strengthened before its removal is completed.
The bridge is one of the oldest in the city and has carried pedestrians across the river since before the civil war. It was first located at Adams street, where it remained for over thirty years, and was removed to Taylor street when heavy traffic made a new structure necessary at Adams street.
The removal of the bridge at Taylor street is necessitated by its narrowness of the channel at that point which requires all obstructions removed, so that the necessary flow of 300,000 cubic feet of water may be obtained in the drainage canal. The drainage board has assumed all expenses for the new bridge and the removal of the old one, and the change will be made without any charge to the city.
Barely a trace can be seen of the old Taylor street bridge that toppled into the river at Ashland avenue and Twenty-second street. Workmen were moving from scows to the dock when it fell. For ten months the bridge, nearly 200 feet in length, had been standing unused on a scow in the slip. Recently the council passed an ordinance directing the commissioner of public works to remove the structure.
Taylor Street Bridge
1897 Obstruction Report on the Chicago River
Taylor Street Bridge
1899 Solution to the Obstruction Report on the Chicago River
Chicago Railway Transfer Bridge #2
Taylor Street Bridge #2
TAYLOR STREET BRIDGE #2 & CHICAGO TERMINAL TRANSFER RAILROAD BRIDGE #2
The Railway Age, September 22, 1899
A NEW SCHERZER BRIDGE AT CHICAGO.
The work of removing the old swing bridge over the Chicago River near Taylor street, which forms the means of entrance to the Grand Central station for the trains of the Chicago Great Western and other roads entering at that point, was fully illustrated and described in the issue of The Railway Age of August 18, 1899. A change was necessitated by the requirements or the sanitary district that free passage for a greater volume of water than the center pier would allow should be provided, and the old drawspan was removed to a temporary site just north of its previous location pending the erection of a rolling lift bridge of the Seherzer pattern on the former site. The design and construction of the new bridge, as well as the results of its erection in the way of clearing the channel of obstructions, are clearly shown in the accompanying engravings from plans furuished by the Scherzer Rolling Lift Bridge Company of Chicago.
The entire plan of improvement at this point contemplates the erection of two lift bridges side by side, and which may be operated together or independently for the use of the railroad companies. Each of these will be double-track bridges. The plans also include a highway bridge of the same pattern at Taylor street. But one of the railroad bridges will be built at the present time, that being considered sufficient for the present volume of traffic.
Though the improvement has been undertaken at the Instance of the sanitary district, its most obvious result will be the improvement to navigation facilities by the removal of the old centre span. The difference is illustrated clearly in Fig. 1. which gives a plan of a section of the river, and the obstructions to its channel under the two sets of conditions for purposes of comparison. One of the plats illustrates the impossibility of a modern vessel passing the Taylor street highway and railroad swing bridges, and the other plat shows these two swing briiTges removed and replaced by two Scherzer rolling lilt bridges, each giving a clear waterway for navigation of 120 feet at right angles, and a sufficient channel for the How of 300,000 cubic feet of water per minute to the drainage canal. The Twelfth street swing bridge was not removed because there is just sufficient area for the passage of the required volume of water, but this bridge will have to be removed in order to permit the passage of modern vessels. The dimension shown, 478 feet, is that of the larger vessels now engaged in Chicago River commerce.
Fig. 2 shows a general plan of the new Scherzer rolling lift bridge now under construction to accommodate the railroad traffic to and from the Grand Central station. The design is for two double-track bridges, side by side, to be operated either jointly or singly, as desired. One of the double-track spans is now being constructed. The other span Is to be constructed as soon as the increase in the railroad traffic makes its construction necessary. The bridge is designed as a through truss cantilever and crosses the channel at the very acute angle of 36 degrees 30 minutes, which necessitates a span of 275 feet
from center to center of end bearings, in order to give a clear waterway for navigation of 120 feet, the minimum required by the United States War Department for the Chicago River. Cooper’s specifications for railroad bridges, 1896 edition, controlled the design as far as applicable. The loading is 10,000 pounds per lineal foot of bridge, with a concentrated load of 50,000 pounds at any point of each track. The bridge will be operated by electricity, and although provision is made for an operator on each side -of the river, yet the machinery and electrical equipment will be so arranged that the bridge may be operated by one man from the operator’s house on one side of the channel. The structure will be counterbalanced so as to be at rest when opened at an angle of about 40 degrees. This will greatly assist the machinery in opening and closing the bridge and will prevent any possibility of the bridge falling shut and disabling the structure through any accident. The substructure is to be composed of Portland cement concrete and Bedford stone, and is to rest upon piles driven to rock and cut five feet below the bottom of the channel.
Fig. 3 is a perspective view of the bridge, which, as stated, gives a clear opening of 120 feet on account of its angular posltion. Were the bridge to cross the channel at right angles Unclear opening for navigation would be 255 feet. The acuteness of the angle is necessitated by the property limits of the Chicago Terminal Transfer Company, which lines are used by the roads entering the Grand Central station. These limits are shown on Fig. 1.
Fig. 4 is a general plan of the new Taylor street highway lolling lift bridge. The span from centre to centre of bearings is 148 feet 7 inches. The roadway from centre to centre of trusses is 20 feet in width, with a 5-foot sidewalk on each side. It is designed to carry the heaviest highway and electric street car traffic in accordance with Cooper’s specifications for highway bridges. Although this bridge has the appearance of an arch it is designed to act as a cantilever, the live load stresses being carried by means of anchorages to the rear of the supporting piers. It will be operated similarly to the railroad bridge above mentioned. A sufficient clearance under the bridge is allowed for the passage of tugs without opening the structure.
The railroad bridge is being erected toy the Pennsylvania Steel Company, under the supervision of the Scherzer Rolling Lift Bridge Company. The completion of the entire improvement will mark an important step in the removal of the difficulties presented to commerce by the narrow channel of the Chicago River, and of which the rolling lift bridge seems to be the only practicable solution.
Taylor Street Bridge #2
The Railway Age, July 26, 1901
THE LONGEST SPAN BASCULE BRIDGE EVER BUILT.
In the issue of The Railway Age on September 22. 1899, plans with a general description were published of the Scherzer Rolling Lift Bridge to be built near Taylor street in Chicago by the Sanitary District for the Chicago Terminal Transfer Railroad Company. The structure has recently been completed and has the distinction of having the largest span of any bridge of its kind ever built. The bridge has a span of 275 feet center to center of bearings and crosses the river at an angle of 36 degrees 30 minutes. The acuteness of the angle is necessitated by the property limits of the Chicago Terminal Transfer Railroad Company, which lines are used by the latter company, the Baltimore & Ohio, and the Chicago Great Western roads, entering the Grand (‘entral Station at Harrison street and Fifth avenue.
Scherzer Bridge—275 Feet Span—Process of Erection
May 19, 1901
During the construction by the Sanitary District of the drainage canal, it was found that the section of the Chicago River at Taylor street was too small to permit of the necessary flow or water as prescribed by law. The center pier of the Taylor street highway bridge was eliminated and the bridge replaced by a Scherzer rolling lift bridge, which was completed in January this year. The bridge of the Chicago Terminal Transfer Company near Taylor street also obstructed the flow to less than the required amount. The district trustees saw but one way to obtain the required section; that of constructing a by-pass such as was built at Adams street. at which point similar difficulties had been encountered. But Mr. F. E. Paradis. chief engineer of the Chicago Terminal Transfer Company, objected to a bypass being built under the tracks and yards of the company, as, while a by-pass would allow the required flow of water, the same obstruction to navigation would still be prevented by the center pier of the swing bridge, and suggested that a new bridge without a center pier be built. Most of the engineers of Chicago thought it impossible to build a bridge of this type of the dimensions required, and the only encouragement received was from the Scherzer Rolling Lift Bridge Company of Chicago. The co operation of lsham Randolph, chief engineer of the Sanitary District, was finally obtained, after a very careful investigation, and contracts were entered into on December 10, 1898, with the Scherzer Rolling Lift Bridge Company, Albert H. Scherzer, president, for the designs. plans, specifications and general supervision of the construction of the bridge. The Scherzer company were also to be responsible for the successful operation of the bridge when completed. The contract for the construction of the bridge was let to the Pennsylvania Steel Company of Steelton, Pa., through their western representatives. The Railroad Supply Company, and to the work of this company is greatly due the successful manner in which the bridge was erected and the accuracy with which the leaves closed after the bridge had been completed. Thomas Phee of Chicago was given the sub-contract for the substructure.
Scherzer Bridge—Process of Erection—East Leaf
April 11, 1901.
Scherzer Bridge—Process of Erection—East Leaf
April 9, 1901.
The bridge contains in all about 1,500 tons of stcel, in addition to 700 tons of counterweights. Each moving leaf contains about two million pounds and aside from having the longest span of any movable bridge ever built the structure is especially noticeable in that it is built for the heaviest railroad service carrying double tracks. The bridge is designed for a load of 10.000 pounds per lineal foot of bridge. in addition to a concentrated load of 100,000 pounds at any point on the floor of the bridge, this giving a carrying capacity of more than twice that of the next longest lift bridge in the world—the Tower bridge of London. The latter bridge has a span of 200 feet and is designed only for highway traflfic.
In the construction of the substructure in connection with the present work difficulties were encountered in that, owing to the narrow channel at the center pier of the present swing bridge, it was necessary to construct a cofferdam of a single row of Wakefield sheeting and to excavate to the depth of 26 feet below city datum, a feat thought by most of the river men of
Chicago to be impossible. The substructure of each leaf on either side of the river is built on a foundation of 600 piles 50 feet in length and includes 3,500 yards of Portland cement cancrete mixed in the proportion of one part of cement. three parts of sand and six parts of broken stone. The two piers contain 940 cubic yards of first-class masonry.
Scherzer Bridge—Process of Erection
One Leaf Open and One Leaf in Closed Position.
Swing Bridge in Rear.
July 23, 1901
The electrical equipment for the bridge was furnished by G. P. Nichols & Bro. of Chicago. and includes for its operation two 50—horsepower motors for each leaf. The power is obtained from the electric plant at the Grand Central Station, from which point underground cables are laid to the operating houses on the bridge, which houses are connected by submarine cables laid in a trench below the bottom of the river. Each leaf can be controlled from its respective operating house and the operating devices are also arranged so that both leaves can be controlled and operated ‘by one man from the house on the east bank of the river. For this arrangement one controller has been placed in the west house. while in the house on the east bank two have been installed. Each of the operating houses is fitted with a switchboard. an indicator showing the position of the bridge and operating devices. Each leaf is fitted with band brakes operated with solenoids and has electric pumps for pumping out the counterweight pits. Rail lifts are not required, as the leaves move vertically. The trusses automatically inter-lap and form the center lock. As shown in one of the accompanying illustrations. one~half of the bridge is built on either bank of the river, and at no time was any hindrance whatever offered to the river traflic. The two leaves were first lowered into position on Tuesday, July 23, with gratifying results to all who were interested in any way in the construction of the bridge and especially to the Scherzer Bridge Company, who were not only held responsible for the successful operation of the structure but who were also looking to this bridge as a demonstration of their ability to build doubletrack railroad bridges of this type with spans of at least 275 feet. it is said that the first operation of the present bridge was accompanied by a smoother motion and less proportionate friction. almost without exception, than were the shorter span bridges of this type that have been built. In the present condition of the bridge about 35 horsepower are required for its operation, and when in perfect working order it is estimated that but from 20 to 25 horsepower will be necessary. The present bridge was built with the anchorage and foundations so arranged that another double track span can be built beside it as soon as the increase in the railroad traffic makes its construction necessary. The old bridge will be removed and the entire width of the river will be avail able for traffic. whereas at present only about one-third of the width is clear at any one point.
Scherzer Bridge—Process of Erection
Both Leaves in Act of Closing
July 23, 1901
The bridge was erected by the Kelly-Atkinson Construction Company. sub-contractors. Theodore Buskirk, representing the Sanitary District, was inspecting engineer in charge, and Mr. Ralph Modjeski acted as consulting engineer for the railroad company.
The Inter Ocean, July 28, 1901
In a few days the largest rolling lift bridge in the world will be opened in Chicago. The structure spans the Chicago river just south of Taylor street, and is remarkable from an engineering standpoint for its great length. The river at the point where it is spanned is 120 feet in width, and the bridge crosses it at an angle of 36½-degrees, making it 275 feet long between the points of bearing and 450 feet long from end to end.
The entire structure, with the exception of the cast-iron counter-weights, is built of steel, and weighs 4,890,978 pounds. A notable thing is connection with the building of the bridge is that the coffer-dams cost less and afforded less trouble than those used in building the bridge over the canal.
The cost of the construction was $450,000, which was paid by the drainage board alone. The city offered to bear a share of the expense of building, but when the time came the municipality refused to aid. It was then hoped that the railroad companies which will use the bridge would come forward and share the expense of construction, but they also failed when it came to paying, and the whole expense was thrown on the board. The sanitary, trustees, feeling the necessity of such a structure at once, proceeded to build it on their responsibility.
At first it was deemed impossible to span the river at this point, but, despite the opinions of several engineering experts, Engineer Wisner of the board was convinced it could be done. Mr. Randolph entered into consultation with the Scherzer Bridge company, and finally arranged a modification of the Scherzer patent rolling rolling lift bridge, and the result is the present structure.
Engineers in the city are unanimous in declaring this bridge one if the greatest feats, from an engineering standpoint, in the country. The bearings of the bridge, instead of being pinioned like those of an ordinary bascule bridge, are free and move backward and forward on a steel table.
The ordinary bascule bridge is on the principles of a lever of the first order, while this bridge works on the principles of a level on the second order. On the whole, the movement of this bridge is much more free than that of an ordinary lift bridge, and causes less of a strain.
Each moving leaf contains about 2,000,000 pounds, and, aside from having the largest span of any movable bridge ever built, the structure is especially noticeable, in that it is built for the heaviest railroad service, carrying double tracks. The bridge is designed for a load of 10,000 pounds per lineal foot of bridge, in addition to a concentrated load of 100,000 pounds at any given point on the floor of the structure, this giving it a carrying capacity of more than twice that of the next longest lift bridge in the world—The Tower bridge of London, which is 200 feet long, and only designed for highway traffic.
Bascule Bridge at Taylor Street
(Eastern half of the structure is completed).
Looking north from the 12th Street (Roosevelt Road) Bridge, the photo shows the former bascule railroad bridge (a Scherzer Rolling Lift type) that crossed the Chicago River at an angle north of 12th and south of Taylor Street, with the old swing span (in the open position) that it eventually replaced visible below the raised bascule leaves. In the background are the raised bascule spans of the Taylor Street Bridge (road bridge).
The same bridge as above. The tug in this photograph is that of the A. B. Ward, built by John Gregory in 1866.
Taylor Street Railroad Bridge
The original plan of the Chicago River Straightening included rebuilding the Taylor Street Bridge, However, 1n 1926 it was decided not to. The Chicago Transfer Railway Bridge #2 (B&O Transfer Bridge) was replaced by a 16th Street bridge.
In a March 9, 1926 letter from The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Company to the Citizens Committee states:
The request of the B. & O. C. T. that the property line laid down by the Citizens Committee Report should be changed so that the B. & O. C. T. would acquire an additional strip of land north of Roosevelt Road, which would be offset by the giving up lands of equivalent value south of Roosevelt Road.
The request of the B. & O. C. T. for an easement or right-of-way for two tracks connecting the C & W. I. south of 16th Street with the tracks to be laid by the B. & O. C. T. on property assigned to it by the Citizens Committee Report north of and adjacent to the St. Charles Airline.
Straightening South Branch Chicago River
Rearrangement of Railroad Facilities.