Chicago's Movable Bridges | The history of Bascule Bridges

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A bascule bridge (also referred to as a drawbridge or a lifting bridge) is a moveable bridge with a counterweight that continuously balances a span, or leaf, throughout its upward swing to provide clearance for boat traffic. It may be single- or double-leafed. The name comes from the French term for balance scale, which employs the same principle. Bascule bridges are the most common type of movable span because they open quickly and require relatively little energy to operate, while providing the possibility for unlimited vertical clearance for marine traffic.

Chapters:

02:03 Why Chicago Needed Bridges
03:19 How shipping canals transformed Chicago’s waterway
05:30 Chicago’s First movable bridge
06:56 Chicago’s fist swinging bridge (Rush Street Bridge)
07:38 Chicago’s first vertical lift bridge
07:59 Chicago bascule bridges
09:07 Van Buren Street bridge history
10:41 How Chicago’s bridges changed road traffic (A)
11:40 Chicago’s Track lift bridges
12:19 The Largest Bascule bridge in the world – The CTT Railroad bridge
13:05 Michigan avenue DuSable bridge
14:51 Why Chicago has the best bridges on earth

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IT’S HISTORY – Weekly tales of American Urban Decay as presented by your host Ryan Socash.

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