Kinzie Street C&NW Railway Bridge

Kinzie Street at the Chicago River North Branch

170 foot long Warren Truss, a single leaf, Strauss-type, bascule bridge, the third C&NW Railway bridge to cross the Chicago River at this location.


The South Face

This site was the first location of a bridge across the Chicago River. This is the third bridge the C&NW built here.

Photo taken by J.R. Manning in May 2010




This 1908 C&NW Warren throught truss bridge was the longest and heaviest in the world when it opened. It was the third bridge constructed at this location, the site of the first railroad crossing of the Chicago River.

The bridge originally carried freight and passenger traffic to the Wells Street Station. When the C&NW moved passenger service to their new passenger depot on the west shore of the river (today it is the Ogilvie Transporation Center) the bridge was used for freight only.

The lines went all the way to Navy Pier. Using air rights, the Merchadise Mart was built on the site of the Wells Street Station, over the tracks that served the Merchandise Mart and continued through the enormous building.

The last freight customer was the Chicago Sun-Times. The Union Pacfic absorbed the C&NW in 1995. The newspaper moved operations in 2001, leaving the UPRR with no customers east of the river, so the line was abandoned.

The bridge remains in place, in the raised position. Because of the historic nature of the structure and the importance of the Chicago-based C&NW in the transcontinental railroad, the Kinzie Street railroad bridge was declared a Chicago Landmark on December 12, 2007.


Abandoned (328)
Bridge (2,631)
Built 1908 (878)
Built during 1900s (9,461)
Cook County, Illinois (607)
Illinois (2,701)
Railroad (1,980)
Railroad facility (183)

Update Log 

  • July 5, 2010: Added by J.R. Manning


  • J.R. Manning - Lugnuts969 [at] gmail [dot] com