Walsh Completes Second Phase of Historic Bridge Replacement
The installment of the second half of the bridge was nearly identical to the first installation completed in March. The 500,000-pound newly fabricated part of the bridge was floated up the river to be put in place. Walsh crews once again worked around the clock to complete the other side of the bridge in another 9-day period. The bridge was opened for rail traffic by Monday morning.
The Wells Street Bridge dates back to 1922 and is one of 37 so-called "fixed trunnion bascule'' bridges that grace the Chicago River. However, the Wells Street Bridge is one of only two double-decker bascule bridges in Chicago that carries elevated trains on the top deck and pedestrian and car traffic on the bottom one. That double function makes the bridge unusually heavy. After 91 years, the bridge had deteriorated beyond repair, requiring the complete replacement of truss sections.
Walsh/II in One was awarded this $41M job late last year. The new bridge was designed to have the same architectural look as the original concept. The entire project will be completed by December 2013.