Pons Triangulum. Chicago’s Historic Bridges and Rails Connections at the Wells Street Bridge. #1.

These are from my collection of photographs of the historic Wells Street Bridge, taken on May 30, 2019. The order is based on bridge inspection principles and shows the essentials of this massive structure.

In a bridge inspection, the first thing to do is identify the structure.

Name and year built: The Wells Street Bridge, 1922
State ( 17), County (031) and City Codes (14000 ) and Structure Number: 016605400000000
Crossing: Main Branch, Chicago River
Purpose: Carries CTA trains on upper deck; vehicular and pedestrian traffic on the lower deck, which routes one way, north to south over a waterway.
Maintenance Responsibility: 04 for City or Municipal Highway Agency


PONS #122 EElev WESB 053019 1826.JPG

East elevation. 05/30/19 at 6:26 PM. #122.

PONS WESB EElev #136 053019 1829

East elevation from the Riverwalk, with substructure, tender’s house, fenders, Warren Truss web, superstructure, and jetty. #136.

PONS WESB EElev #132 053019 1829 PM


PONS WESB EElev #133 053019 1829


PONS WESBridge TrDeck SPort 053019 1827


Bascule bridge (movable span) features include upper and lower chord connections of diagonal and vertical members, gusset plates, panel points, and bridge tender’s houses. Wells Street carries CTA trains; part of the train deck and its approach span is shown.

PONS WESB TrDeck Sub #137 053019 1830

Abutment, wing wall, and train deck approach span with a train. #137.


  1. U. S. Federal Highway Administration. N Wells St over Main Br Chicago Riv.  Cook County, Illinois. Bridge Reports.com National Bridge Inventory Data. By James Baughn. 2012-2019. https://bridgereports.com/1139900. bridgereports.com/help/about/
  2. United States Department of Transportation. Federal Highway Administration. Recording and Coding Guide for the Structure Inventory and Appraisal of the Nation’s Bridges. Washington: Office of Engineering, Bridge Division, Bridge Management Branch, December 1995. Report No. FHWA-PD-96-001.
  3. “Functional Classifications.” https://www.dot.ny.gov/divisions/ engineering/applications/traffic-data-viewer/tdv-definitions/Functional-Classifications.htm. 26 October 2019.
  4. “List of counties in Illinois.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 29 Jun 2015, 05:01 UTC. 7 Nov 2019, 20:45 <https://simple.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=List_of_counties_in_Illinois&oldid=5164644>.

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