Illinois Roads - Chicago River bridges

Chicago River bridges

Halsted St NB, featuring the Chicago-standard drawbridge light that turns full red in every indication with "STOP" making up four lenses.

These are on the northeastern building, and there are similar on the southwestern one. One or the other is responsible for housing the drawbridge operator, or maybe both are capable.

Cermak Rd. EB, with the clearest example of the STOP signal I could ask for. It looks like the counterweights are modular, with the ability to stick in or pluck out little cube weights from each tall haunch for optimal balance.

Looking back west, top and bottom of the bridge.

From Cermak Rd., it's a quick left turn to Canal St. NB. There's a railroad bridge just to the east.

A very low truss graces Harrison St., seen EB. The bridge alarms are color-coordinated with the STOP signals.

Washington St. EB into downtown, with a semi-secret steel grate deck, about to meet Wacker Drive. I have plenty more bridge photos on that page, since Wacker follows the Chicago River from here to Lake Michigan.

The above-deck part of Dearborn St. isn't particularly exciting (it's an arch below), so gaze at the iconic Marina City, designed in 1959 to be a self-contained miniature city. There is indeed a marina at its base, along the river, and then features a theater, gym, pool, skating rink, bowling alley, stores, restaurants, and many stories of residential space. This is just the western tower, with an identical one to the northeast along State St. Among other buildings in this rectangular block is the House of Blues.

SB on Lower Michigan Ave., which is, of course, the lower deck of Michigan Ave. It connects with Lower Wacker Drive and a lot of other streets named Lower, all beneath the Upper streets and invisible to street-level passersby. Most of this level is dedicated to commercial access and parking, while the top level is for people. Those in the know use Lower streets to get around crowds during rush hours and weekend afternoons, but most Chicago River bridges only have an Upper level, so heading out of the city requires some planning. The third photo looks west from amidst the Michigan Avenue Bridge structure to spy on Wacker Drive (Upper is on top of the marble and granite structure, Lower is behind the "windows" between columns) and Wabash Ave. The latter shows you about what the Dearborn St. bridge looks like - plain on top, pretty below. I then realized I captured both of the two Marina City buildings in their full height, so I added a second westward photo to give you a better idea of their appearance.

One look from the upper level of Michigan Ave., east toward Columbus Dr. (well, obviously) and Lake Shore Drive (US 41).

More Chicago River bridges on US 41 and LaSalle St. and along Wacker Drive
Continue north to more bridges along the North Branch Chicago River
See more of Chicago
See Chicago's buildings
Back to Illinois Roads
Back to Roads