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Chicago's Moving Bridges over the Chicago River | by spudart
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Chicago's Moving Bridges over the Chicago River

The Chicago River cuts through downtown Chicago and is home to the most moveable bridges in the world for any city. Starting from the top, here are the bridges featured in this photo: Franklin Street Bridge, Wells Street Bridge, LaSalle Street Bridge, Clark Street Bridge, and Dearborn Street Bridge.


A little bit of trivia about a couple of these bridges. The top bridge at Franklin Street was an important part of the 2005 film "Batman Begins" because it's the bridge that connects Gotham City with the Narrows. The 2nd bridge from the top (Wells Street) is the double decker extreme bridge. It carries three lanes of southbound traffic along with two sidewalks. The upper deck slams across two sets of CTA trains every day with the brown and purple. The bottom bridge (Dearborn Street) is the only bridge featured here that was not built between 1919 to 1929. It was constructed in 1962, and its straight-line modern style certainly proclaims that.


The Corn Cob towers (aka Marina City Towers) on the right serve as a natural framing device for this photo. Newly reconstructed Wacker Drive happily sits on the left.


One of my favorite parts of this photo (other than the nice number of bridges shown) is how the Chicago River at the top of the photo splits into two branches.


Oh wait, but there's more! In the very back of the photo are two sets of Metra tracks. The set on the ground leads into Union Station. The top set leads into Ogilvie Transportation Center. In fact look at the top tracks NOW! There's a train leaving Ogilvie right now! Well, it's just my guess that it's leaving seeing that this photo was taken in the afternoon. Oh, this was shot on the top floor of Hotel 71.


(This is the east branch of the Chicago River. For a similar view down the south branch, check out this photo: (And a shot of the same scene in but in a vertical format: )


High resolution print available at:

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Taken on March 29, 2007