St. Charles Air Line Bridge

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St. Charles Air Line Bridge
2014-05-25 4500x3000 chicago st charles air line bridge.jpg
St. Charles Air Line Bridge with an upright B&OCT Bascule Bridge just behind
Coordinates 41°51′39″N87°38′04″W / 41.86083°N 87.63444°W / 41.86083; -87.63444 Coordinates: 41°51′39″N87°38′04″W / 41.86083°N 87.63444°W / 41.86083; -87.63444
Carries2 tracks of the Canadian National Railway
Crosses Chicago River (south branch)
Locale Chicago, Illinois
Official nameSt. Charles Air Line Bridge
Maintained by Canadian National Railway
DesignStrauss Trunnion bascule lift span
Longest spanOriginally 260 feet (79 m), later shortened to 220 feet (67 m) in 1930
Designer Joseph Strauss
St. Charles Air Line Bridge

The St. Charles Air Line Bridge is a Strauss Trunnion bascule bridge which spans the Chicago River in Chicago, Illinois.


Built as part of the St. Charles Air Line Railroad by the American Bridge Company in 1919, the bridge originally had a span of 260 feet (79 m). This bridge held the world record for longest bascule-type span until 1930, when it was shortened to 220 feet (67 m) during a relocation as a result of straightening the river channel. The chief design engineer of the original bridge was Leonard O. Hopkins.

See also

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