Joliet Lift Bridge
This vertical lift bridge was built in 1902 to span the Des Plaines River in Joliet. The movable span is 361 feet, and has been in the raised position since 1980 when it was abandoned by CSX.
View from the Top
Of course, I had to climb up the tender's stairway to see what was up there. I managed to get to the first landing (about as high as the raised span) and came across some rusted through handrails, so I figured it may be worse toward the top so I turned back. I'm disappointed now, so I'll have to venture back soon to make it to the top.
The working parts of this bridge are incredible. The eight sets of balance chains seen here, balanced out the weight of the lifting cables that hauled the span up and down.
Joe, Denise and Chris by the balance chains
Balance Chains Running Toward the Top
Even today, this lift bridge is an incredible feat of engineering, and a great site to explore.