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Michigan Avenue Bridge, Chicago

#52 of 603 in Things to do in Chicago
Bridge · Hidden Gem · Landmark
The Michigan Avenue Bridge is a bascule bridge that carries Michigan Avenue across the main stem of the Chicago River in downtown Chicago, Illinois, United States. The bridge was proposed in the early 20th century as part of a plan to link Chicago's south side and north side parks with a grand boulevard. Construction of the bridge started in 1918, it opened to traffic in 1920, and decorative work was completed in 1928. The bridge provides passage for vehicles and pedestrians on two levels; it is an example of a fixed trunnion bascule bridge, which is also known as a "Chicago style bascule bridge". The bridge is included in the Michigan–Wacker Historic District and has been designated as a Chicago Landmark.
The location is significant in the early history of Chicago. Events from the city's past are commemorated with sculptures and plaques on the bridge, and exhibits in the McCormick Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum—housed in one of the bridge tender houses—detail the history of the Chicago River.
The Michigan Avenue Bridge has a north–south orientation, spanning the main stem of the Chicago River between the Near North Side and Loop community areas of Chicago. Its northern portal lies at the foot of the Magnificent Mile, between the Wrigley Building and Tribune Tower. Its southern portal is at the intersection of Michigan Avenue and Wacker Drive, overlooked by the London Guarantee Building and 333 North Michigan. The neighboring bridges are Columbus Drive Bridge to the east and Wabash Avenue Bridge to the west.
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973 reviews
  • The Du Sable Bridge, formerly the Michigan Avenue Bridge, cannot be compared to the Golden Gate. But Chicago's signature bridge that carries Michigan Avenue traffic and pedestrians across the main...  more »
  • I don’t know that I can say this is a must see activity, but if you’re crossing over the river, might as well use this bridge. Nice to stop and take a look at the boats going by below. I didn’t...  more »
  • The area is great for walking and enjoying the view of the skyscrapers touching the sky. I visited chicago on October the weather wasn't warm but it wasn't that cold either. I would recommend walking the full length of the river walk because the views will keep getting better
  • Beautiful views from the bridge. On one side of the bridge you can access Chicago river architecture tour, other side you can do down for riverside walk. The art on the bridge would amaze you.

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