Joliet Lift Bridge

click to enlarge

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.

From the Top of the Bridge
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.
From the Bridge Tower
Looking Down

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

Lift Bridge Chains
Balance Chains Running Toward the Top

Even today, this lift bridge is an incredible feat of engineering, and a great site to explore.


Brokecompsoul said...

That was a fun bridge to explore :)

Anonymous said...

To boldly go where no photographer has gone before!

Thanks. Eddie K
Eddie's Railfan Page

Anthony C said...

Whoa! Nice outing.

An minor FYI: I believe "abandoned" is a legal definition, which may or may not apply to the location you explored, even though the bridge and tracks have not been used in many years.

Tom Gill said...

Anthony: You're right! The bridge hasn't been abondoned, it's just not used anymore by CSX.

I wish it were abandoned, then I could get a quit-claim deed and own it!!