2013 Fall Bridge Lift Begins Wednesday Morning
At 9:30 AM, just after the morning rush hour subsides, the Lake Shore Drive bridge will be raised to allow the season’s first flotilla of sail boats to enter the Chicago River on their way to dry dock storage according to the Chicago Department of Transportation.
Every Wednesday at 9:30 AM and Saturday mornings at 9, from late September through mid November, a pair of city bridge tenders raise the 27 movable bridges sequentially along the main and south branches of the river to allow these tall masted ships to pass without obstruction.
The city schedules these “boat runs” in the spring and fall for boat captains to move their recreational boats from Lake Michigan to winter storage locations along the North and South Branches of the river.
“The lifting of Chicago’s iconic movable river bridges every fall marks the closing of the boating season,” said CDOT Commissioner Gabe Klein via press release. “The City 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.”
The boat run begins at the lakefront with the Lake Shore Drive bridge and ends at the Ashland Ave. bridge on the South Branch of the river.
According to CDOT each bridge lasts 8-12 minutes. But while the bridge is only up for these few minutes, drivers are usually delayed several minutes longer due to the traffic build up on each side of the bridge, possibly delaying drivers up to 15 – 30 minutes.
The entire bridge lift takes anywhere from 90 minutes to three hours according to CDOT.
2013 Fall Bridge Lift Schedule
- Wednesday, September 25th, 9:30 AM
- Saturday, September 28th, 9:00 AM
- Wednesday, October 2nd, 9:30 AM
- Saturday, October 5th, 9:00 AM
- Wednesday, October 9th, 9:30 AM
- Saturday, October 12th, 9:00 AM
- Wednesday, October 16th, 9:30 AM
- Saturday, October 19th, 9:00 AM
- Wednesday, October 23rd, 9:30 AM
- Saturday, October 26th, 9:00 AM
- Wednesday, October 30th, 9:30 AM
- Saturday, November 2nd, 9:00 AM
- Wednesday, November 6th, 9:30 AM
- Saturday, November 9th, 9:00 AM
- Saturday, November 16th, 9:00 AM