Wednesday, May 15, 2013

(Photo) Cal-Sag Channel

I grew up in Palos Heights, Illlinois--about a mile from the Cal-Sag Channel. Cal-Sag is short for Calumet-Saganashkee Channel. Although everyone I knew then referred to is as simply "the canal."

It connects the Calumet River with the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal; it was built from 1911 to 1922.

When I was a kid the Cal-Sag was best known for its polluted status--it's still pretty dirty--and the occasional murder victim found floating on it. Much of the canal is now lined with a bikepath. There are many more trees too. While I was a high school runner, some of my teammates joined me for a run on the dirt and rock path along the canal. One of them remarked to me, "This place reminds me of the forbidden zone in Planet of the Apes. However, the large limestone boulders--rubble from the canal dig--awed all of us.

Speaking of sports, Wikipedia claims that the rowing events for the 1959 Pan-American Games were held on the canal.

Barges were once common on the channel, but the de-industrialization of Chicago's South Side and the south  suburbs has greatly diminished that traffic.

Pictured is the Cal-Sag, the photograph was taken on three days ago near Willow Springs from the 104th Street bridge facing east and the LaGrange Road bridge.

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