1 vote

Lake Shore Drive Drawbridge


General View Of Bridge, Looking West

Photo taken by Historic American Engineering Record

View photos at Library of Congress

BH Photo #118328



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.


Double-deck bascule bridge over Main Branch Chicago River on Lake Shore Drive in Chicago
Chicago, Cook County, Illinois
Open to traffic
Built 1937
- 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
Two-level Bascule Pratt deck truss
Length of largest span: 264.0 ft.
Total length: 355.8 ft.
Deck width: 100.0 ft.
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
Average daily traffic (as of 2016)
Inventory numbers
IL 016-6030 (Illinois bridge number)
BH 15144 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection report (as of October 2016)
Overall condition: Poor
Superstructure condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Satisfactory (6 out of 9)
Deck condition rating: Poor (4 out of 9)
Sufficiency rating: 62 (out of 100)
View more at BridgeReports.com

Update Log 

  • February 15, 2018: New Street View added by Dana and Kay Klein
  • 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 


  • 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
  • Dana and Kay Klein


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.