The Illinois Central Railroad swing bridge over the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal. Chicago Illinois. Early April 1989., a photo by Eddie from Chicago on Flickr.
The Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal located on the near southwest side of Chicago, was a man made engineering project that was constructed between 1892 and 1900. This waterway which helped to reverse the flow of the Chicago River away from Lake Michigan, originally featured much commercial ship traffic of the era, thus requiring many lift bridges, swing bridges and draw bridges along the watterway. Tall sailing ships and early steam powered vessels, traveled through these waters. Even the U. Navy traveled through here during World War 2, mostly at night.
Eventually. commercial ships became really huge and supersized. multiple tug boats were soon required to help navigate through these now tight and narrow waterway passeges. By the mid to late 1950's era, shipping traffic had shifted location to Calumet Harbor near Hammond Indiana on the far southeast side of Chicago, and the various drawbridges west of the South Ashland Avenue boat yard in Chicago's Pilsen neighborhood, were soon decommisioned and made stationary.
Practical smaller sized river tow boats pushing barges, were more suited to the canal's original dimensions, and took over all of today's commercial shipping traffic on the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal several years ago.
Seen here to the immediate east of the South Kedzie Avenue bridge, is the former Illinois Central Railroad swing bridge that dates back to the canal's early days.
The South Kedzie Avenue bridge, was also originally a narrow two lane swing bridge dating from the early 1900's, and was used by electric streetcars from the Chicago Surface Lines Route # 52 / Kedzie -California streetcar line (Later CTA after 1947) until May of 1954. CTA electric trolleybuses used the old Kedzie Avenue swing bridge from 1955 until it too was decommisioned and demolished during the year of 1969. Today's bridge at South Kedzie Avenue, is a replacement "Stationary deck model that opened for service in 1970.
May of the old drawbridges from earlier times, are still in place along the Chicago sanitary And Ship Canal today.