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The Clark Street Bridge is a bascule bridge that spans the Chicago River in downtown Chicago, connecting the Near North Side with The Loop.[1]

Clark Street Bridge
Chicago River Clark Street Bascule Bridge.jpg
Clark Street Bridge in 1987.
Coordinates41°53′15″N 87°37′52″W / 41.8875°N 87.6310°W / 41.8875; -87.6310Coordinates: 41°53′15″N 87°37′52″W / 41.8875°N 87.6310°W / 41.8875; -87.6310
CarriesVehicles, pedestrians on Clark Street
CrossesChicago River
Total length346 feet (105 m)[1]
Width215 feet (66 m)[2]
Longest span215 feet (66 m)[2]
Clearance below20 feet (6 m)[1]
Construction end1929



The current bridge, which was completed in 1929,[2] is the eighth bridge to span the river at this point.[3] In 1853 the bridge was struck by a steamer, called the London, and collapsed, blocking traffic on the river. The bridge was dredged and river traffic resumed on September 8.[4] In 1854, the city approved an expenditure of $12,000 to replace the bridge with a pivot bridge.[5] During the Lager Beer Riot in 1855, the bridge was pivoted to help contain the rioters.[6]

The SS Eastland was supposed to sail from the dock at the Clark Street Bridge on July 24, 1915 when it capsized.[7]

In March 2012, an unidentified man jumped from the bridge and was rescued by a local high school on a field trip. He would later die of hypothermia.

In popular cultureEdit

In 1916, Carl Sandburg wrote the poem "Clark Street Bridge."[8]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c "Clark Street Bridge". Retrieved 2007-05-28.
  2. ^ a b c "Chicago River Bascule Bridge, Clarke Street, Spanning Chicago River at Clarke Street, Chicago, Cook County, IL". Historic American Engineering Record. Retrieved 2007-05-28.
  3. ^ McBriarty, Patrick T. (2013). Chicago River Bridges. Urbana, Chicago, and Springfield: University of Illinois Press. pp. 86–94. ISBN 978-0-252-03786-3.
  4. ^ "Column 1". Chicago Tribune. 1853-09-09. p. 3.
  5. ^ "Clark Street Bridge". Chicago Tribune. 1854-02-11. p. 2.
  6. ^ "Trail of the Rioters". Chicago Tribune. 1855-06-21. p. 2.
  7. ^ "Dewey - Addams - Chicago". Retrieved 2007-03-08.[dead link]
  8. ^ Sandburg, Carl (1916). Chicago Poems. Henry Holt.

External linksEdit

  Media related to Clark Street Bridge at Wikimedia Commons