The lifting of the movable bridges over the Chicago River for recreational boat traffic resumes this weekend, running until the end of June.
Each year, in the spring and fall, the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) raises the movable bridges along the Main and South Branches of the Chicago River to accommodate recreational boats traveling to and from their storage yards.
“The lifting of Chicago’s iconic movable river bridges is a local rite of spring, marking the beginning of the boating season,” said CDOT Commissioner Gabe Klein. “The City coordinates with local boat storage yards each year to create a schedule that accommodates boats while creating the least amount of impact on downtown street traffic.”
During these “boat runs,” the bridges are raised sequentially, typically one at a time. Each bridge lift takes an average of 8-12 minutes. This spring, 27 bridges will be lifted in order from Ashland Avenue Bridge on the South Branch to Lake Shore Drive.
There will be no bridge lifts during the nine-day shutdown of the Wells Street Bridge from April 26th through May 5th, as the north leaf of the historic bridge is replaced.
The Spring 2013 bridge lift schedule is as follows: