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Author Topic: Bridges that were originally draw bridges  (Read 1056 times)

roadman65

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Bridges that were originally draw bridges
« on: April 23, 2022, 09:13:44 AM »

https://historicbridges.org/illinois/cicero/p1290663.jpg

I would have never known it until I researched it, but in Chicago the bridge that carries IL Route 50 over the Chicago S& S Canal north of I-55, was a movable bascule span bridge when first constructed in 1927. 

If you look at it in GSV it don’t look like a bascule span but a typical pony truss bridge.  It’s only like sites above that reveal its true nature or perhaps some on here who are familiar with it.


For discussion purpose, what bridges would you share that are still operating today that were once movable?
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kevinb1994

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Re: Bridges that were originally draw bridges
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2022, 09:28:54 AM »

https://historicbridges.org/illinois/cicero/p1290663.jpg

I would have never known it until I researched it, but in Chicago the bridge that carries IL Route 50 over the Chicago S& S Canal north of I-55, was a movable bascule span bridge when first constructed in 1927. 

If you look at it in GSV it don’t look like a bascule span but a typical pony truss bridge.  It’s only like sites above that reveal its true nature or perhaps some on here who are familiar with it.


For discussion purpose, what bridges would you share that are still operating today that were once movable?
I believe that the Princeton Junction and Back bridge over the D&R Canal was once movable upon closer inspection on foot.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Bridges that were originally draw bridges
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2022, 09:35:20 AM »

The transition lanes from the western terminus of CA 120 onto I-5 southbound are over a former draw span that was part of US 50:

https://flic.kr/p/SFh86f

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1995hoo

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Re: Bridges that were originally draw bridges
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2022, 06:43:04 PM »

The inbound 14th Street Bridge from Virginia to DC (you can see the bridgemaster's tower) and Arlington Memorial Bridge in DC were both drawbridges. Neither has opened in my lifetime, as far as I know—Memorial Bridge last opened in 1961 and was recently locked in the closed position after reconstruction, and I believe the 14th Street Bridge last opened a year or two before I was born to allow barges to haul away parts of an old bridge that was being demolished.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Bridges that were originally draw bridges
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2022, 06:48:21 PM »

The Lt. John R. Slattery Bridge on HI 64 to Sand Island:

https://www.gribblenation.org/2022/01/hawaii-route-64.html?m=1
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Dirt Roads

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Re: Bridges that were originally draw bridges
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2022, 10:06:35 PM »

Previously, the Smiths Creek bridge on Castle Hayne Road in Wilmington, North Carolina was an old drawbridge that hasn't been used in many years.  Castle Hayne Road was formerly US-117 and more recently was NC-133.  However, the through structure was severely damaged by a truck back in 2021 and the bridge was deemed unsafe and closed.  NC-133 was relocated onto Martin Luther King [Jr] Blvd (aka US-74).  No word on a replacement date.
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jeffandnicole

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Re: Bridges that were originally draw bridges
« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2022, 11:34:02 PM »

This US 130 grated bridge in Westville & Brooklawn, NJ https://goo.gl/maps/w9nu3bS4K7UQxLgM8 has the appearance it may have been once a bascule bridge.  Looking at it from the side, it would have swung up on the Brooklawn side. 

No idea if it was ever utilized as a movable bridge though - it's due to be replaced starting later this year, and I don't recall NJDOT stating in their documents and discussions that it was ever actually movable.

There is another drawbridge - a lift bridge - further south on US 130 about 4 miles south of the Commodore Barry Bridge that was built as a lift bridge, but it was never used as such.
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jeffandnicole

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Re: Bridges that were originally draw bridges
« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2022, 09:56:03 PM »

I don't believe any of the low-level bridges in Wilmington crossing the Christina River are operational anymore, even though the city/state decided to leave the gates and watchtowers in place at each of them. 

Overview: https://goo.gl/maps/H4qjwze81JccFV3QA

Market Street: https://goo.gl/maps/PkX38Tn2nF2JCMPp8
Walnut Street: https://goo.gl/maps/trjjZfSVjrySBorw7
4th Street:  https://goo.gl/maps/mms45uXkykP519zeA

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Hobart

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Re: Bridges that were originally draw bridges
« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2022, 10:13:45 PM »

The Holton Street viaduct in Milwaukee was a bascule when initially built.

On the thirty-second image, there's a picture of it in original condition.
http://bridgehunter.com/wi/milwaukee/holton
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Bitmapped

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Re: Bridges that were originally draw bridges
« Reply #9 on: April 29, 2022, 09:38:15 AM »

The recently replaced Philo-Duncan Falls Bridge over the Muskingum River in Muskingum County, OH had a swing through truss span over the entrance to a lock. The feds stopped operation of the locks on the Muskingum River in 1954, turning the system over to the state for recreational usage. It's unlikely anything large enough to need the swing span ever transited the bridge, at least in its last decades of life. The swing span was definitely inoperable in the bridge's last years of service. https://historicbridges.org/bridges/browser/?bridgebrowser=ohio/philo/
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DeaconG

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Re: Bridges that were originally draw bridges
« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2022, 03:32:32 PM »

In Philly, the 34th Street drawbridge in Grays Ferry hasn't opened (AFAIK) since the 1960's when I was a wee lad.
https://www.google.com/maps/@39.9426899,-75.1965786,221m/data=!3m1!1e3?hl=en

Until the South Street bridge was reconstructed, it was a locked down drawbridge.
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adventurernumber1

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Re: Bridges that were originally draw bridges
« Reply #11 on: May 16, 2022, 08:23:27 PM »

This may be an obvious one, but I believe the original Zilwaukee Bridge on I-75 in Saginaw, Michigan (from the early '6os) was a bascule. In session for almost 30 years, it was then replaced by the current segmental Zilwaukee Bridge which is much higher. Evidently the logistical headache of the original drawbridge was part of the reasoning for the existence of I-675. This is definitely an interesting part of the original Interstate Highway System.
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Dirt Roads

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Re: Bridges that were originally draw bridges
« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2022, 12:16:01 PM »

This may be an obvious one, but I believe the original Zilwaukee Bridge on I-75 in Saginaw, Michigan (from the early '6os) was a bascule. In session for almost 30 years, it was then replaced by the current segmental Zilwaukee Bridge which is much higher. Evidently the logistical headache of the original drawbridge was part of the reasoning for the existence of I-675. This is definitely an interesting part of the original Interstate Highway System.

Not as bad of a headache as the original Fuller Warren Drawbridge on I-95 in Jacksonville.  There was an urban legend that some folks were purposefully ordering their sailboats with mast heights beyond the clearance of the Fuller Warren just to be able to demand that the Corp of Engineers close down I-95 to let them pass.  Don't know if it was true or not, but I have certainly waited in line to let tall sailboats pass beneath on many occasions, only to still get stuck with a toll once you finally got to the Southside.  (I got transferred out of Jacksonville before the tolls were removed).
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