Four Chicago bridges join the ranks of city’s century-old spans still in use

Updated May 9, 2016
Photo from Chicago History Museum.Photo from Chicago History Museum.

Four Chicago bridges—the Jackson Boulevard Bridge (Jan. 29), Chicago & North Western Railroad Bridge (July 30), Webster Street Bridge (Aug. 3), and Lake Street Bridge (Nov. 6)—are celebrating their 100th birthdays in 2016, joining 19 other century-old Chicago bridges.

“It’s pretty impressive that these marvels of engineering are still working given they’ve been in continuous operation,” John Russick, the Chicago History Museum’s Vice President for Interpretation and Education tells WGN Radio. “And they’re well built, well maintained, and they really speak to the character of the city.”

According to the news agency, the Chicago History Museum, Chicago Architecture, and the book, Chicago River Bridges, state that the city’s oldest bridges—the Chicago, Milwaukee, & St. Paul Z-6 Bridge; the Chicago, Madison, & Northern Railroad Bridge; and the Illinois Northern Railroad Bridge all opened in 1899.

Russick tells the news agency that the bridges, even the city’s oldest ones, are “essential to ongoing daily life in Chicago. They are important, and they still do what we need them to do for the city to thrive.”