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The Wabash Avenue Bridge (officially, Irv Kupcinet Bridge) over the Chicago River was built in 1930. Standing west of the Michigan Avenue Bridge and east of Marina City, the bascule bridge connects the Near North Side with "The Loop" area.

Wabash Avenue Bridge
Wabash Avenue Bridge 090516.JPG
Wabash Avenue Bridge at night
Coordinates41°53′17″N 87°37′37″W / 41.887924°N 87.626839°W / 41.887924; -87.626839Coordinates: 41°53′17″N 87°37′37″W / 41.887924°N 87.626839°W / 41.887924; -87.626839
CrossesChicago River
LocaleChicago, Cook County, Illinois
Official nameIrv Kupcinet Bridge
Other name(s)Wabash Avenue Bridge
Maintained byChicago Department of Transportation
ID number000016605226647
DesignDouble-leaf bascule bridge
Total length345 feet (105 m)
Width90 feet (27 m)
Longest span232 feet (71 m)
No. of spans3
Clearance below22 feet (7 m)
DesignerThomas Pihlfeldt
Daily traffic5,800[1]

The single-deck, double-leaf bascule bridge was designed by Thomas Pihlfeldt and built by the Ketler and Elliot Company.[2] The American Institute of Steel Construction awarded it the "Most Beautiful" bridge in 1930.[2]

The control houses for controlling bridge operations are on the northwest and southwest corners of the bridge. The control houses are identical in design. In 1961 the control houses were upgraded to allow single man operation. Electrical modernization also accompanied this upgrade. While the northern control house is no longer in use, it still stands.[2]


In popular cultureEdit

  • The bridge was used in the opening sequence of Perfect Strangers from season 3 onwards, which the title card was shown at the beginning, as well as the opening sequence of the first three seasons of the Perfect Strangers spin-off series, Family Matters, where the Winslow family are riding bicycles over the bridge.
  • The bridge was also used in the opening credits of Siskel & Ebert.
  • A glimpse of the bridge was featured in the opening sequence to the first three seasons of The Bob Newhart Show.
  • Other Chicago-set shows to feature this include Good Times.
  • The bridge was also used in Dhoom 3.

See alsoEdit


Wabash Avenue Bridge summer 1999 in a photo from the National Park Service
  1. ^ "NBI Structure Number: 000016605226647". Retrieved 2009-05-18.
  2. ^ a b c National Park Service. "Historic American Engineering Record". Retrieved 2009-05-18.

External linksEdit