bridges of chicago


The bridges spanning the Chicago River have played an intrinsic role in Chicago’s development as an epicenter of industry and transportation. CDOT designs, builds and maintains the structures that are a critical part of the city’s transportation network through its Capital Bridge and Bridge Maintenance Programs. In addition, CDOT maintains and monitors the series of freight tunnels beneath the Central Business District.Chicago’s current Riverwalk was designed and built by CDOT.  Conceptual designs began in 2001 with the reconstruction East-West Wacker Drive. Wikimedia Commons has media related to Bridges in Chicago. They assisted in expansion that began south and moved north to today’s commercial downtown district.

"Located in Grant Park in the Loop area of Chicago, the BP Pedestrian Bridge is a girder footbridge which connects Maggie Daley Park with Millennium Park (a beautiful area to walk through and explore)." These vast yet elegant structures are enduring symbols of Chicago’s historical and architectural achievements.The apex of drawbridge innovation and construction occurred in the 1870s and returned in the first decade of the 20th century with the city’s employment of the bascule bridge design.After the trial and error period of several bridge types, the city settled on the Chicago-style bascule bridge, a drawbridge that uses a trunnion to lift the bridge’s leaf or leaves by counterbalance. The earliest movable bridge in Chicago was a drawbridge at Dearborn Street built in 1834. The city had become a hub for transportation and industry by the mid-19th century and Chicago’s river bridges played a large role in that.Although Amsterdam beats Chicago when it comes to the sheer number of bridges, the Second City is known as the drawbridge capital of the world because no other city has experimented with as many drawbridge designs as Chicago.While the Chicago River is less of a thoroughfare for economy than it was over a century ago, the city’s existing drawbridges are still opened in the spring and fall.
In the years that followed, there was much trial and error as new styles were designed. Whenever possible, traffic continues to flow during construction of these vital links to Chicago’s roadway grid.The Commissioner of the Department of Transportation is also the Harbor Master for the City of Chicago.  CDOT has jurisdiction over the Lake Michigan harbors, the Chicago River, the Calumet River and any of its tributaries. These bridges connected the city’s diverse mix of people, neighborhoods and cultures.

While the most celebrated bridge is the Du Sable Bridge at N. Michigan Avenue, there are seventeen other examples of beautiful Chicago bridges. The posted clearances serve as a guideline and are advisory only. CDOT works with the Chicago Park District, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to reconstruct deteriorated revetment structures along the Lake Michigan Shoreline.  Reconstruction includes concrete and steel sheet pile stair-step revetments, beaches with piers and groins, and rubblemound stone revetments.CDOT is responsible for more than 300 bridge and viaduct structures, including 37 operable movable bridges along the Chicago and Calumet rivers. "I crossed from Maggie Daley Park to the Millennium Park through it accidentally, and it was very nice regarding its style and curvy design, and providing nice pictures opportunities." CDOT is responsible for more than 300 bridge and viaduct structures, including 37 operable movable bridges along the Chicago and Calumet rivers.

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bridges of chicago