Great Sport, Fording a River by Auto (Oct, 1921)
Great Sport, Fording a River by Auto
WHILE the beautiful Cook County forest preserves that lie about Chicago are to be kept, in the main, in their natural condition, certain improvements are added yearly for the comfort and pleasure of the many thousands of city-weary guests who motor or “hike” to them every hot holiday. Among these recreation engineering features are two underwater bridges across the Des Plaines River above the town of the same name.
Hundreds of motor cars each Sunday splash across the dam and many make repeats in order to wash the dust from the wheels. The auto rides through three inches of moving water.
The roadbed, which is seventeen feet wide, has a roughened surface and a four-inch concrete curb. For the safety of pedestrians a handrail is provided, and a footbridge is put in to accommodate those who would cross dry-shod. Both rail and “trail” are removed in winter. The ford is usable all the year except for a short period in flood time and serves the work wagons of the foresters as well as the picnic parties.
These concrete dams serve other than “bridge-ford” purposes. They back up the water for several miles to facilitate boating, swimming and fishing. The impounding of the waters above is of value to the trees of the neighborhood. Beneath the dams are two large tiles to serve as fishways and to drain the water above in seasons of low water.
Neighbors swell with local pride as they point out these underwater bridges.