View Bridge Lifts at the Bridgehouse Museum

The fall 2022 Chicago bridge lift viewing season starts this month. The McCormick Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum is the only place people can view the massive working gears that make a bridge lift possible.

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. 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.  

  • 10 a.m. Wednesdays, September 21 and 28; October 5, 12, 19 (sold out), and 26
  • 9:30 a.m. Saturdays, September 17 and 24; October 1, 8 (sold out), 22, and 29

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. Bridge lifts are expected to happen between 10 a.m. and 10:30 a.m., however the timing is dependent of the work of the bridge tenders, the number of boats that need to pass, and weather.

Tickets to the bridge lift viewing are $12 per person and reservations are required. Please email or call (312) 977-0227 to make your reservation. Tickets include time to visit the museum.