Dearborn Street Bridge
Dearborn Street Bridge
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< 1 hour
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The area
Address
Neighborhood: Near North Side
How to get there
  • Grand • 5 min walk
  • State/Lake • 8 min walk
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

4.0
13 reviews
Excellent
4
Very good
6
Average
3
Poor
0
Terrible
0

Taylor B
Chicago, IL7,838 contributions
In 1834, when Chicago's population was only 350, the first movable drawbridge was built at Dearborn Street and served as the primary crossing point over the Chicago River for the original town. How times have changed. Today, the Dearborn Street Bridge, which was constructed over the Chicago River in 1962, connects the Near North Side with The Loop. A year after the span was opened to the public, it received the "Most Beautiful Steal Bridge" award in the Movable Span category from the American Institute of Steel Construction. It also has proven to be more reliable that the original bridge, which turned out to be an unreliable nuisance that was dismantled in 1839. There was no crossing at North Dearborn Street until 1888, when the existing Wells Street bridge was floated up the river and installed at Dearborn Street. In 1907, a new bridge was installed. It was replaced by the current bridge in 1962. The main span is 235 feet long and 56 feet wide. Having a truss construction, complete with rivets and built-up beams with lattice and V-lacing, it doesn't look like a 1960s bridge. The single bridge tender building, which is much more simple in appearance than the ornate towers for many of Chicago's older bridges, is the only obvious hint that the Dearborn Street Bridge is newer, aside from the bridge plaque listing the construction date. The total cost of construction was $6.8 million.
Written November 4, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Taylor B
Chicago, IL7,838 contributions
Of all the bridges that span the Chicago River in downtown Chicago, the Dearborn Street Bridge has been acclaimed American's most beautiful steel bridge. Built in 1962, it connects the Near North Side to The Loop. It is 342 feet long and 56 feet wide and is the fourth bridge to be constructed at the site. The 1834 Dearborn Street Bridge was the first movable bridge built in Chicago, when the population was 350, and was the primary crossing point over the Chicago River for the original town. It dismantled in 1839. A swing bridge was installed in 1888 and was replaced by a rolling lift bascule bridge in 1907, then by the current bridge, which features a single bridge tender house on the southeast corner of the bridge. Today, it carries north-bound traffic from The Loop, across the river, to the Near North Side.
Written February 17, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

psudino
Weehawken, NJ3,731 contributions
Quite frankly, I didn't realize that this was an attraction until I searched TripAdvisor for the Heald Statue. Then I actually learned about this bridge by reading the TripAdvisor reviews. I won't rehash those. My issue is that if this bridge has such historical significance, then shouldn't there be signage on both side commemorating it. I think the city of the Chicago needs to make a conspicuous monument or plaque explaining why we should care.
Written November 27, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

TeamWard
Nottingham, UK5,066 contributions
Easy bridge to find cause of the corncobs building right next to it, its one of several iconic bridges along the Chicago river, neat to see it open if your visiting at the right time of year, well worth viewing.
Written October 14, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Neta_Avivi
Tel Aviv, Israel3,546 contributions
The Dearborn Street Bridge is a steel bridge over the Chicago River. It connects the Near North Side with the Loop area of Chicago. It was built in 1834, was the first movable bridge in Chicago and served as the primary crossing point over the Chicago River for the original town (population of 350 at the time). Since then, the bridge was dismantled and replaced a few times. It is another Chicago Landmark and part of the city's beautiful landscape.
Written October 10, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Taylor B
Chicago, IL7,838 contributions
The Dearborn Street Bridge that spans the Chicago River in downtown Chicago has two histories. The 1834 bridge was the first moveable bridge built in Chicago when the town had a population of 350. It was the primary crossing point over the river for the original town. But it turned out to be an unreliable nuisance that was dismantled in 1839. There was no crossing at Dearborn Street until 1888 when the existing Wells Street swing bridge was floated up river and installed at Dearborn Street. It was replaced in 1907 by a Scherzer rolling lift bascule bridge. In 1962, it was replaced by the current bridge, which received the "Most Beautiful Steel Bridge" award in the Moveable Span category by the American Institute of Steel Construction in 1963.
Written June 2, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Diane K
Venice, FL3,772 contributions
Couples
During the Spring and Fall all of the bridges on the Chicago River are lifted for the boats to go into and out of the lake. It was fun to see. The Dearborn Street Bridge is one of many bridges that cross over the river. Nice views of the city on both sides of the bridge.
Written January 6, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

BiggieSauls
Texarkana, TX375 contributions
Couples
Many bridges over the Chicago river. This one isn't quite as old as the rest. But remarkable when it opens for boat traffic.
Written November 26, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

McWett
Las Vegas, NV1,492 contributions
Couples
There are many bridges that cross the Chicago River and this is one of them. While it’s really not necessary to go out of your way to see it as there are so many similar bridges that cross the river it is worth noting if you’re in the area.

The best time to see the bridges in action is in early spring or late fall when the boats make their way to and from the harbors along Lake Michigan.
Written September 15, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Irina
United States10,137 contributions
Solo
If you are in the Theater District of the Chicago Loop and you walk north along Dearborn Street, in a couple of blocks you'll end up on the Dearborn Street Bridge, that is one of the multiple bridges built overtime over the Chicago River.

This bridge is actually rather young (well, middle-aged, rather) by comparison to many others. The Dearborn street Bridge was built in 1963, it doesn't look that imposing, its tender house looks quite plain, also compared to some other, quite ornate, bridge tender buildings. But it is right near the Marina City, close to the North Michigan Ave and all other prominent city sites and attractions. Picture-taking would be probably more efficient in a much better weather. These were taken in clouds, wind and rain.
Written April 15, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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