The I-44 bridges over the MKT Railroad, shown here looking northwest on the railroad (just left of the tall grass), were widened and redecked in 1980 as part of a multi-bridge project on I-44. The original bridges each had two lanes with no shoulders. The railings consisted of steel sections between short concrete columns except for the north railing of the westbound bridge, which was a solid concrete railing. Preliminary work on the bridge redecking project began in early 1980 when a separate column was poured next to each pier. The concrete abutment walls then were extended to accommodate the extra width. A steel girder was erected on each set of piers (one per bridge in most cases) and incorporated into the bridge via the redecking project. The eastbound bridge was done first (along with the neighboring Sheridan Road bridge), followed by the westbound bridge(s). Upon completion of the bridge project, the bridge beams were repainted a light blue. The project created mile-long traffic jams at peak hours and also resulted in the temporary closure of some ramps, notably the 41st Street entrance ramp to eastbound I-44. These bridges will be replaced when I-44 eventually is widened to six lanes in the area. Photograph taken February 13, 1988.
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