5 Famous Bridges (Movable & Non-Movable) On The Chicago River, Illinois (2023)
Apart from what travelers preach, something that is most iconic in Chicago is the ‘Bridges.’ While entire Illinois has 26,848 bridges, 37 of the movable bridges are there in Chicago. Every single day Chicagoans navigate on or under these movable bridges in order to commute around the city. Apart from that, tourists from around the West mark these heavy, steel bascule bridges as a unique attraction. As many of the State landmarks are bridges, you will observe striking designs and stunning architecture while passing over them.
Back in time, 52 movable bridges crossed the main branches of the Chicago River. However, later due to their physical condition and requirement, the number decreased a bit. From swing bridges to Scherzer rolling lift, vertical lift bridges to the trunnion bascule, Illinois is rich when it comes to movable bridges. So, the next time you are in Chicago or moving over any of the bridges, consider stopping and admiring the site. During the night-time, enthusiasts often gather around the bridges to observe the beautifully lighted city. To know more, have a look down below:
Famous Bridges (Movable & Non-Movable) On The Chicago River, Illinois
1. Michigan Avenue Bridge
The Michigan Avenue Bridge is a long-standing drawbridge that honors the founders of Chicago. It was constructed back in 1920 and today is listed as a Chicago landmark. The bridge is located right where Michigan Avenue crosses the Chicago River. It is one of the most iconic urban spaces in the West and a beautiful work of public art. The views from the Michigan Avenue Bridge are by far one of the best vistas from the city. It is worthy of taking a walkover, stopping, observing, and clicking pictures around. Or take a river taxi or a cruise on the river and enjoy the views from the water level.
2. Chicago & Northwestern Railway Bridge
Chicago & Northwestern Railway Bridge or the Kinzie Street railroad bridge is a must-see when in Chicago. One of the famous movable bridges on the Chicago River, Illinois, stays in the standing position throughout the year. Accept during its annual supervision; the bridge is brought down flat. Also considered as a hidden gem, this railway bridge talks a lot about history, ancient industrial structures, and drawbridges. Visitors can grab some magnetic views from the boat tour, especially during the night hours.
3. Outer Drive Bridge
Outer Drive Bridge, also known as the link bridge, is sitting across the Chicago River in Illinois. It is a double-deck movable bridge that once was the longest and widest bascule bridge in the world. While the lower level is totally used for vehicles, one can walk across the upper level. While walking across the upper level, you can observe a unique view of the city around as well as the Chicago River. Especially during the night hours when everything around is lit, the Outer Drive Bridge looks absolutely divine to walk.
4. State Street
The State Street or the Bataan-Corregidor Memorial Bridge is located in downtown Chicago. This impressively wide bridge was built during World War II. Due to the shortage of steel, it took seven years to complete. However, today it is notedly one of the last bridges in Chicago that possess aesthetic enhancements on its tender houses. The bridge features multiple novelties and boasts eight lanes of traffic. From the center of the bridge, visitors can grab a great view of the city and its architecture. Consider taking an early morning or late evening walk at the State Street bridge and observe its best glory.
5. Madison Street Bridge
Also known as the Lyric Opera Bridge, the Madison Street Bridge, a must-visit movable bridge over the Chicago River. It is one of the most technologically and historically significant bridges in the State. It is one of those successful designs that Chicago continued using in all its bridges for the next half-century. Initially, in 1849, it started as a wooden bridge but later on, it evolved into the first railing-height truss of Chicago. While the bridge is used for both vehicle and pedestrian navigation, you can see a vast walking crowd during the evening. Locals from Chicago consider spending their evening hours standing and clicking over the bridge. It has also attracted considerable tourism for several years.
While most travelers spend time walking across the Chicago bridges, the best way is to float under them. You can either Kayak down the Chicago River or take an architecture boat tour flowing under several such historic bridges.