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Look Out, Drivers: Bridge Lifts Along The Chicago River Are Back Wednesdays And Saturdays

Bridges along the Chicago River from Lake Shore Drive to Ashland Avenue will be raised on Saturdays and Wednesdays until mid-November.

Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
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DOWNTOWN — Travelers who have to go over the Chicago River Downtown might need extra travel time the next few weeks.

Twice-weekly bridge lifts are in effect along the main and south branches of the Chicago River, according to the Chicago Department of Transportation. The bridge lifts, which started Saturday, are to allow boaters to make the trip from Lake Michigan to storage facilities where they’ll stay for the winter.

As part of the process, 27 bridges from Lake Shore Drive to Ashland Avenue will be raised sequentially by CDOT, which oversees the spring and fall bridge lifts.

Each bridge will be raised one at a time for eight to 12 minutes Saturdays and Wednesdays from late September through mid-November in the “boat runs.” When each bridge is raised, traffic will be stopped. Affected travelers can wait until the bridges are lowered or use alternate routes. 

If no boat owners make arrangements for their boats to move on a particular day, the bridges won’t be raised, CDOT said.

Streets that will be affected by the fall bridge lifts are: Lake Shore Drive, Columbus Drive, Michigan Avenue, Wabash Avenue, State Street, Dearborn Street, Clark Street, La Salle Street, Wells Street, Franklin Street, Lake Street, Randolph Street, Washington Street, Madison Street, Monroe Street, Adams Street, Jackson Boulevard, Van Buren Street, Congress Parkway, Harrison Street, Roosevelt Road, 18th Street, Canal Street, Cermak Avenue, Halsted Street, Loomis Avenue and Ashland Avenue.

The schedule:

  • 9:30 a.m. Sept. 28
  • 9 a.m. Oct. 1
  • 9:30 a.m. Oct. 5
  • 9 a.m. Oct. 8
  • 9:30 a.m. Oct. 12
  • 9 a.m. Oct. 15
  • 9:30 a.m. Oct. 19
  • 9 a.m. Oct. 22
  • 9:30 a.m. Oct. 26
  • 9 a.m. Oct. 29
  • 9:30 a.m. Nov. 2
  • 9 a.m. Nov. 5
  • 9:30 a.m Nov. 9
  • 9 a.m. Nov. 12

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