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Mike Claffey 312.744.0707
The City of Chicago will begin lifting the movable bridges over the Chicago River this Saturday to allow for recreational boat traffic to make the annual trip from boat storage yards out to the wide open waters of Lake Michigan.
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 on a twice weekly schedule on Saturdays and Wednesdays to accommodate recreational boats traveling to and from their storage yards.
“The springtime lifting of Chicago’s iconic movable river bridges marks the beginning of the boating season each year and is a happy sight,” said CDOT Commissioner Rebekah Scheinfeld, who also serves as Chicago’s Harbor Master and has jurisdiction over the city’s waterways. “CDOT works 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. A total of 27 bridges will be lifted in succession from the Ashland Avenue Bridge on the South Branch to Lake Shore Drive.
The Spring 2015 bridge lift schedule is as follows:
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