See the Bridge Go Up from the Inside

Chicago's iconic bridges open approximately 40 times a year (April to November) to accommodate sail boats and other tall vessels traveling between the Chicago River and Lake Michigan, and the Bridgehouse Museum is the only place you can view the working gears that make it possible. Tickets include free Bridgehouse access as well.

Wednesday Exclusive Viewings

You can provide your friends and family with their own personal viewing of the annual bridge lifts by renting the museum every Wednesday for groups up to 15 people with advance registration.

Experience the fun and wonder of watching one of Chicago's movable bridges in action from inside the gear room of the DuSable Bridge on Michigan Avenue - an insider's view from the Bridgehouse Museum, the only museum of its kind in the country. Watch video of the DuSable Bridge lift. 

Reservations are required and walk-in admission will not be accepted. Please call the museum (312) 977-0227 or email to make your reservation. Face coverings, temperature checks for admission, and social distancing are required at all times.

A Whole New Stroy

 This bridgelift viewing season follows the recent grand re-opening of the Bridgehouse Museum featuring a major refresh of the museum's exhibits that showcase a river teeming with wildlife due in large part to hard fought water-quality victories and significant restoration efforts. The new exhibits reflect the action and advocacy of Friends of the Chicago River and its partners to improve the health of the river through the implementation of water quality standards, disinfection to protect recreational users, more open space, and wildlife restoration. The new exhibits also explore the improved connectivity of the river for people and wildlife, the effects of the climate crisis on the river system, our goals for the creation of a blue-green corridor of interconnected green spaces, the Clean Water Act, and watershed wide nature-based green infrastructure.

Bridge Lift Viewing Days and Hours

Saturday bridge lift viewing: Every Saturday through October 31. Arrive at the museum between 9-9:15 a.m. Bridge lifts will likely occur between 9:30-10 a.m.

Wednesday private rental viewing: Every Wednesday through October 28. Arrive at the museum at 9:30 a.m. The lift will likely occur between 9:45 and 10:15 a.m.

The bridge lifts start at Lake Shore Drive, the first of 27 bridges that go up, proceeding west to the Ashland Avenue Bridge on the South Branch of the Chicago River. The DuSable Bridge at Michigan Avenue is the third in this procession. Hear the bridge bells start ringing; see the gates close to traffic, and watch the massive gears start turning as the iconic DuSable Bridge starts rising towards the sky. The process for each bridge to go up and down takes approximately 10 minutes.