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The Franklin–Orleans Street Bridge, commonly known as the Franklin Street Bridge, is a bascule bridge over the Chicago River, in Chicago, Illinois, United States. It was built in October 1920, and is located directly southwest of the Merchandise Mart. Connecting the Near North Side with "The Loop," is at the junction of the branches of the river, lying directly west of the Wells Street Bridge. It carries four lanes of traffic in the northbound direction, and sidewalks are available on both sides of the bridge.

Franklin–Orleans Street Bridge
Chicago River Franklin Street Bascule Bridge.jpg
Franklin Street Bridge in 1987
Coordinates41°53′14″N 87°38′9″W / 41.88722°N 87.63583°W / 41.88722; -87.63583Coordinates: 41°53′14″N 87°38′9″W / 41.88722°N 87.63583°W / 41.88722; -87.63583
CarriesAutomobiles, Pedestrians
CrossesChicago River
LocaleChicago, Cook County, Illinois
Official nameFranklin–Orleans Street Bridge
DesignDouble-leaf bascule
Total length320 feet (98 m; 57 sm)
Width62 feet (19 m)
Longest span220 feet (67 m)
Clearance below18.7 feet (5.7 m)
Constructed byGreat Lakes Dredge and Dock Company, Ketler–Elliot Company
OpenedOctober 1920
The bridge raised for sailboats

Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Company was the contractor for the substructure, and the Ketler–Elliot Company was the contractor for the superstructure. Original electrical equipment was installed by C. H. Norwood. The bridge is an example of a trunnion bascule bridge, with each half of the roadway is cantilevered out from shore abutments. The bridge is extremely efficient to operate.

The bridge provided a new connection to the southern banks of the river and aided in westward expansion along Wacker Drive.


In popular cultureEdit

  • The Franklin-Orleans Street Bridge was featured prominently in the 2005 film Batman Begins as the bridge that connects Gotham City with the Narrows.[1]
  • The Franklin-Orleans Street Bridge was also featured in the 2014 film Divergent[citation needed]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "The Buildings of Batman Begins". Glass Steel and Stone: Global Architecture Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2007-05-27.

External linksEdit