The City of Chicago's Official Site



Pennsylvania Railroad

Pennsylvania Railroad     Address: South of 31st St., West of Western Ave. (Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal)
Year Built: 1901 - 1910
Architect: William Scherzer
Date Designated a Chicago Landmark: December 12, 2007

Rocker detail, Historic American Engineering Record The Pennsylvania Railroad "Eight-Track" Bridge, also known as the Scherzer Eight-Track Bridge, is an example of a patented bascule bridge design by engineer William Scherzer. It is made of steel and comprised of four side-by-side Scherzer rolling-lift, single-leaf, double-track spans set in alternating positions which can not only operate as four independent bridges, but can also operate simultaneously as a single unit. The configuration of the bridge makes it one of the most unusual looking bridges in the city of Chicago. The structure rests on the limestone piers of prior bridges and is reinforced with metal shell cast-in-place concrete piles. Each bridge was operated by two 50-horsepower motors, which worked in conjunction with reinforced concrete counterweights and rocker arcs. Today the bridge is fixed in place and still in use. The structure can be seen from both Western Avenue and the Stevenson Expressway.