A Burlington Northern and Santa Fe freight train rolls over the Sanitary and Ship Canal on the Lemont Railroad Bridge. Constructed in 1898 by the Keystone Bridge Company of Pittsburgh, the steel swing bridge has a span of 375 feet, and is frequently used by the railroad. During our 30 minute walk, three trains passed over this bridge.
In Lemont for the weekly Lemont Ledgends cruise night, we often explore the area after viewing the custom and vintage cars parked up and down the downtown streets. This time, we decided to to hike over the Lemont Ave bridge to view the I and M Canal, Sanitary and Ship Canal and the DesPlains River - all within a block or so of each other, and the downtown area. Used heavily for industry, the Sanitary and Ship Canal is filled with tugboats and barges, but offers few places for viewing other than bridges.
As we approached the top of the bridge, over the canals, we noticed a small area on the bank of the canal with some sort of a stone memorial, and a few teenagers sitting near it. Figuring it must be a small acess point, we made our way back downtown to find it.
In short order, we discovered a narrow path that led from a side street to the bank of the canal. The memorial we saw from the bridge, honored mariners of the Illinois Marine Towing company, a local frieght company. Perhaps this small landing is a place for the deckhands to stop for a break, or a walk to town.
Either way, it offered a view of the canal traffic, as well as a safe place to watch traffic on the railroad bridge.
Posted by Tom Gill at Friday, July 11, 2014