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Experience Chicago's Bridge Lift Season

Posted on April 19, 2018

Bridge Lift season is here. Which means summer is right around the corner. The City of Chicago began lifting the bridges over the Chicago River on April 18 for the year’s first boat run. The boat runs are scheduled to occur every Wednesday and Saturday through June 30.

Starting at 9:30 a.m., the 27 bridges along the river from South Ashland Avenue to Lake Shore Drive will be lifted sequentially to allow recreational boats to move from storage yards to harbors in Lake Michigan.

Construction for the Michigan Avenue bridge began in 1917 and opened in May of 1920 to cannon fire, marching bands, ship horns and parades. Chicago’s first movable bridge was a wooden drawbridge, built in 1934.

To experience this historic ritual from a unique perspective, you can hop on a Chicago Architecture Foundation River Cruise aboard Chicago's First Lady Cruises on Wednesday or Saturday mornings. The views and photo opportunities you’ll be able to capture will be postcard worthy.

Chicago Sun Times


Chicago Loop Bridges


Chicago Architecture Foundation


Chicago Architecture Foundation


Chicago Tribune