Monday, July 20, 2009

North Avenue Pedestrian Bridge

North Avenue Pedestrian Bridge ..
Architect: Ralph H. Burke .. the renowned transportation planner and engineer who also designed the master plan of O’Hare International Airport ...
Completed: 1938 ..
Location: Southern end of Lincoln Park near North Avenue ..

Considering that it was built in 1938, it still looks as fresh and modern as the day it was built .. This once-revolutionary bridge has no central support, thus affords a minimum of visual obstruction to motorists on Lake Shore Drive.

From the Preservation Chicago website .. click here ..
It is technically a three-hinged arch, because the arch has a specific curvature and points of support at each end. This type of arch allowed for a very long unbroken span, which allowed the bridge to avoid the need for any vertical supports over the wide span of Lake Shore Drive. The seating of each arch terminus was another groundbreaking part of the design. This also facilitated the two goals of having a long unbroken span while at the same time keeping the bridge height low. Esthetically, the graceful long arches and clean, modern lines make the bridge inherently linked to an era of streamlined and occasionally futuristic design that spread all over the world during the next decade.

In 2003, city officials and the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) determined that the North Avenue Pedestrian Bridge was non-compliant with federal accessibility standards. Since then, plans have been underway to replace the bridge with a larger bridge that meets these accessibility standards ...

I love this bridge and hope it stays like this as the city builds other bridges compliant with federal accessibility standards ...


Anonymous said...

Very beautiful pictures and well written blog.

- Kathy

Jyoti said...

Thanks Kathy