Section between Robey Street (Damen Avenue) and Summit
Work began in 1892 on the easternmost section of the canal, 7.8 miles running from the South Branch of the Chicago River to Summit, from the South Side of the City of Chicago to suburban Cook County. Located on the Chicago Lake Plain, this section was built through layers of soil. Chief Engineer Isham Randolph described the efforts in verse:
dredges heaved their dippers
filled with virgin clay
took away by tugs
Dredging the River, 17 August 1894
Improvements included dredging sections of the South Branch of the Chicago River to allow for larger ships to pass, as well as to deepen the river to assure that water would flow southwestward away from Lake Michigan.
Steam Shovels, 10 July 1895
The easternmost section of the canal was dug through layers of soil. In contrast to the building of the Illinois and Michigan Canal in the 1840s where virtually all of the digging was done by hand, steam shovels played an integral role in the construction of the Sanitary and Ship Canal.
See also: Water
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