Chicago’s Spring Bridge Lift Begins Wednesday
Spring Bridge Lift Delayed Due To Lock Repairs
During a typical Chicago spring, local sailboat owners begin bringing their high masted sea vessels from storage, and down the Chicago River back to Lake Michigan in mid-April.
But this year, sailboat captains have been delayed due to ongoing repairs of the Chicago Lock by the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers.
“Generally, we’d have probably had a couple (bridge lifts) already,” said Chicago Department of Transportation spokesperson Peter Scales explaining about the lock repairs. “It just pushed it back a week or so.”
Every spring and fall, CDOT is in charge of the process of raising the city’s 27 movable bridges twice weekly in order to allow recreational water craft to return to the lake.
“CDOT coordinates 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,” said CDOT Commissioner Gabe Klein.
However, this year, because of the shortened bridge lift season, CDOT says it will conduct some additional lifts on a few, select Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday mornings this month.
During the spring, the process begins at the Ashland Ave. bridge on the South branch of the river southwest of downtown, each bridge is raised sequentially in order to minimize impact to motor vehicle traffic.
CDOT says drivers should expect the average delay when a bridge is raised to be eight to 12 minutes, with the entire process taking approximately four hours. This means it is about lunch time when the bridges located downtown begin going up and snarling traffic.
The Lake Shore Drive bridge, the final bridge before boats enter Lake Michigan will go up and down around 1 PM according to Scales.
While mid-week boat runs begin at 9:30 AM after rush hour theoretically ends, Saturday and Sunday bridge lifts start at 8 AM.
Spring 2012 bridge lift schedule:
Wednesday, May 2nd, 9:30 AM
Saturday, May 5th, 8 AM
Sunday, May 6th, 8 AM
Tuesday, May 8th, 9:30 AM
Thursday, May 10th, 9:30 AM
Saturday, May 12th, 8 AM
Sunday, May 13th, 8 AM
Tuesday, May 15th, 9:30 AM
Thursday, May 17th, 9:30 AM
Tuesday, May 22nd, 9:30 AM
Thursday, May 24th, 9:30 AM
Wednesday, May 30th, 9:30 AM
Saturday, June 2nd, 8 AM
Wednesday, June 6th, 9:30 AM
Saturday, June 9th, 8 AM
Wednesday, June 13th, 9:30 AM
Saturday, June 16th, 8 AM.
Wednesday, June 20th, 9:30 AM
Saturday, June 23rd, 8 AM
Wednesday, June 27th, 9:30 AM
Saturday, June 30th, 8 AM