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Project Details


350 feet


Elgin, Joliet and Eastern Railway
Canadian National


CN/EJ & E Bridge #52

The CN/EJ & E Bridge #552, originally constructed in the 1930s over the Illinois River, held the undesirable distinction as the most frequently hit bridge in America. No other bridge was hit as often and with such predictability by water-borne traffic.

The new 350-foot vertical lift bridge was constructed adjacent to the existing bridge structure on a temporary erection and launching runway structure. This temporary roll-in structure allowed for the new 1,100-ton bridge span to be moved into place without restricting river traffic. The existing dolphins were used as launch bents, which helped to reduce costs. Over an 84-hour period, a jacking and roller system moved the span along the runway and into place across the existing 120-foot channel.

The project received the 2012 Engineering Excellence National Recognition Award from the American Council of Engineering Companies.