South Canal Street viaduct, Chicago

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South Canal Street viaduct, Chicago

Postby EricL » Fri Nov 02, 2018 2:53 pm

From Harrison Street going south almost as far as Roosevelt Road, Canal Street sits up on a viaduct. It's my understanding that this was constructed in tandem with the building of the current 1920's Union Station. Today, there is absolutely nothing underneath this viaduct - just a crumbling roadway for maintenance vehicles, and large swaths of fenced-off vacancy replete with "no trespassing" signs. Most people strolling or driving atop Canal don't even realize there's anything underneath them.

I'm posting in the BN forum because the southern stretch of Canal St, which now hosts buildings such as the new Post Office, a Northern Trust facility, and the recent Southgate Market, was onced lined with various support offices for the Burlington - as well as freight houses of the REA and the 'Q.

What all was underneath the Canal viaduct originally, necessitating its construction? My guess would be the like of stub-end "team" tracks or other transloading facilities.
I've seen numerous photos of tracks visibly heading diagonally off that way, but unless I'm misinterpreting, they all seem to be further south from the specific area I'm thinking of.

Does anyone have any photos or information about any operations (railroad or otherwise) which might have taken place underneath this stretch of Canal Street, back in the day?
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