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.
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
Outer Drive Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+41.88889, -87.61389(decimal degrees) 41°53'20" N, 87°36'50" W (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
USGS topographic map
Chicago Loop OE E
IL 016-6030 (Illinois bridge number)
BH 15144 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection (as of 11/2010)
Deck condition rating: Satisfactory(6 out of 9) Superstructure condition rating: Satisfactory(6 out of 9) Substructure condition rating: Good(7 out of 9) Appraisal: Functionally obsolete
Sufficiency rating: 76.0 (out of 100)
Average daily traffic (as of 2009)
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
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