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Lake Shore Drive Drawbridge

Photos 

General View Of Bridge, Looking West

Photo taken by Historic American Engineering Record

View photos at Library of Congress

BH Photo #118328

Map 

Street Views 

Description 

As originally built, this bridge was planned to carry automobile traffic on its upper level, and railroad lines on its lower level. However, the railroad lines were never built. In 1983, the lower deck was converted for automobile use as a collector-feeder road serving Randolph Street, Wacker Drive, Illinois Street, and Grand Avenue. At part of that same project, the infamous killer S-curve on Lake Shore Drive, which connected to the south end of this bridge, was replaced with a gradual curve.

This bridge is unusual for being a double-deck bascule bridge, and it also carries one of the heaviest traffic counts for a moveable bridge anywhere.

Facts 

Overview
Double-deck bascule bridge over Main Branch Chicago River on Lake Shore Drive in Chicago
Location
Chicago, Cook County, Illinois
Status
Open to traffic
History
Built 1937
Builders
- American Bridge Co. of New York
- Hugh E. Young of Chicago, Illinois
- Ketler-Elliot Erection Co. of Chicago, Illinois
- Strauss Bascule Bridge Co. of Chicago, Illinois
Design
Two-level Bascule Pratt deck truss
Dimensions
Length of largest span: 264.0 ft.
Total length: 355.8 ft.
Deck width: 100.0 ft.
Recognition
Eligible for the National Register of Historic Places
Also called
Outer Drive Bridge
Link Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+41.88889, -87.61389   (decimal degrees)
41°53'20" N, 87°36'50" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
16/449070/4637621 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Chicago Loop OE E
Inventory numbers
IL 016-6030 (Illinois bridge number)
BH 15144 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection (as of 11/2012)
Deck condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Superstructure condition rating: Satisfactory (6 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Satisfactory (6 out of 9)
Appraisal: Functionally obsolete
Sufficiency rating: 55.0 (out of 100)
Average daily traffic (as of 2012)
108,700

Update Log 

  • January 21, 2016: New photos from Royce and Bobette Haley
  • December 1, 2015: New Street View added by Douglas Butler
  • February 22, 2015: Photo imported by Dave King
  • January 24, 2014: New photo from Douglas Butler
  • September 22, 2013: New Street View added by Michael Miller
  • December 24, 2012: Updated by Roger Deschner: Change name from "Lakeshore" to "Lake Shore" to conform to local useage. Add description.
  • September 30, 2012: New photos from Steve Conro
  • May 14, 2010: New photos from J.R. Manning
  • April 8, 2010: New Street View added by James Baughn

Related Bridges 

Sources 

  • HAER IL-54 - Chicago River Bascule Bridge, Outer Drive, Spanning Chicago River at Outer (Lakeshore) Drive, Chicago, Cook County, IL
  • James Baughn - webmaster [at] bridgehunter [dot] com
  • J.R. Manning - thekitchenguy [at] sbcglobal [dot] net
  • Historicbridges.org - by Nathan Holth
  • Royce and Bobette Haley - roycehaley111 [at] yahoo [dot] com
  • Steve Conro - sconro [at] yahoo [dot] com
  • Roger Deschner - rogerdeschner [at] gmail [dot] com
  • Douglas Butler
  • Michael Miller - michael_a_miller [at] yahoo [dot] com

Comments 

Lakeshore Drive Bridge
Posted April 17, 2008, by James Adorno (adorno423 [at] aol [dot] com)

This was taken April 2008 from the giant ferris wheel on Mavy Pier

Lakeshore Drive Bridge
Posted September 8, 2007, by Tom Staley (thomass [at] nc [dot] rr [dot] com)

Photo taken Sept. 7, 2007. This bridge was having some work done to it.