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Photograph: CC/Flickr/Don Harder

Spring is here and the city is raising the bridges again

Written by
Clayton Guse

Spring is in full swing in Chicago, which means the return of patios, delightful weather and the start of boating season, accompanied by the sometimes inconvenient bridge lifts along the Chicago River. 

This year, the city's has scheduled the raising of bridges between Ashland Avenue and Lake Shore Drive on Saturdays and Wednesdays through the end of June, allowing sail boats and other tall vessels to travel to and from docking locations along the lake shoreline. While it's always compelling to witness the engineering marvel that is a movable bascule bridge in action, it can be annoying for anyone who's commuting downtown and gets held up by the event.

According to the Department of Transportation, each bridge lift takes an average of eight to 12 minutes, which isn't quite enough of a delay to ruin your day (though it is a solid test of one's patience). The city organizes the bridge lift schedule to cause the least amount of impact on downtown traffic, said CDOT commissioner Rebekah Scheinfeld, which holds up considering that all of them take place at either 8am or 9:30 am.

The first bridge raising of the year took place on Saturday, and will keep taking place twice a week through the end of June. Check out the full schedule below, and please try your best to refrain from pulling a Blues Brothers and attempt to drive over the gap. 

2016 bridge lift schedule

Saturday, April 16 at 8am

Wednesday, April 20 at 9:30am

Saturday, April 23 at 8am  

Wednesday, May 4 at 9:30am  

Saturday, May 7 at 8am

Wednesday, May 11 at 9:30am  

Saturday, May 14 at 8am

Wednesday, May 18 at 9:30am

Saturday, May 21 at 8am

Wednesday, May 25 at 9:30am  

Wednesday, June 1 at 9:30am  

Saturday, June 4 at 8am

Wednesday, June 8 at 9:30am

Saturday, June 11 at 8 am

Wednesday, June 15 at 9:30am

Saturday, June 18 at 8am

Wednesday, June 22 at 9:30am

Saturday, June 25 at 8am

Wednesday, June 29 at 9:30am

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