|Bridge Name||Facility Carried / Feature Intersected||Location||Structure Type||Construction Date and Builder/Engineer|
Indiana Harbor Belt Grand Calumet Bridge
||Railroad (Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad) Over Grand Calumet River||Burnham: Cook County, Illinois||Metal Rivet-Connected Warren Pony Truss, Movable: Swing (Center Pier)||By Builder/Contractor: Unknown|
This bridge is one of the most unusual and rare historic railroad bridges in the Cook County, IL and Lake County, IN area, which is rich in historic bridges. Pony truss railroad bridges are very uncommon nationwide, with through trusses and through plate girders being more common. Combine this with the fact that this is a swing bridge, and the result is a bridge that is extremely rare. At the time this bridge was documented by HistoricBridges.org, 26 truss swing bridges were present on the website, and all were through trusses. As a pony truss swing, the bridge has unusual design. Unlike the typical through truss swing, the trusses do not form a "tower" at the center swing pier, and instead the top chord remains horizontal throughout the bridge. The two panels over the swing pier however have eyebars and pin connections for the top chord, giving the bridge its distinctive and unusual appearance. Otherwise, the trusses are traditionally composed.
This bridge should be considered historically and technologically significant as a rare variation on the design of a swing bridge, a bridge type that is itself uncommon.
Reportedly, the railroad plans to demolish and replace this bridge. Given the high level of historic significance of this bridge, this will be a devastating loss of transportation heritage.
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