North Avenue Bridge

At the turn of the last century, Chicago made a name for itself with its innovative trunnion bascule drawbridges, building so many that they became known as “Chicago” bridges. McHugh continued to help the city make a name for itself in bridge design, with a unique hybrid cable-stayed/suspension bridge over the Chicago River at North Avenue.

One of the first such designs in the country, the 420-foot-span features three separate segments-east and west approach spans supported by cable stays, and a middle span over the river, then erected using a special truss built just for the task. Seventy-foot-tall pylons support the combined forces of the suspension and cable stay systems.

With closing North Avenue out of the question, McHugh erected a temporary span, placing it in just one day, before removing the 1907 bascule bridge whose two lanes could no longer handle the crush of modern traffic.