Clark Street Bridge

Coordinates: 41°53′15″N 87°37′52″W / 41.8875°N 87.6310°W / 41.8875; -87.6310
Clark Street Bridge
Clark Street Bridge in 1987.
Coordinates41°53′15″N 87°37′52″W / 41.8875°N 87.6310°W / 41.8875; -87.6310
CarriesVehicles, pedestrians on Clark Street
CrossesChicago River
Total length346 feet (105 m)[1]
Width215 feet (66 m)[2]
Longest span215 feet (66 m)[2]
Clearance below20 feet (6 m)[1]
Construction end1929

The Clark Street Bridge is a bascule bridge that spans the Chicago River in downtown Chicago, connecting the Near North Side with The Loop via Clark Street.[1]


Stereoscopic image of Clark Street after the Great Chicago Fire in 1871
State Street Bridge (foreground), Dearborn Street Bridge, Clark Street Bridge, La Salle Street Bridge, Wells Street Bridge, and Franklin Street Bridge

The current bridge, which was completed in 1929,[2] is the eighth bridge to span the river at this point.[3] In 1853 the bridge was struck by a steamer, called the London, and collapsed, blocking traffic on the river. The bridge was dredged and river traffic resumed on September 8, 1853.[4] In 1854, the city approved an expenditure of $12,000 to replace the bridge with a pivot bridge.[5] During the Lager Beer Riot in 1855, the bridge was pivoted to help contain the rioters.[6]

On June 26, 1907, the steamer Atlas collided with the south abutment of the bridge and sank. She was declared a total loss.[7]

The passenger ship SS Eastland was scheduled to sail from the dock at the Clark Street Bridge when she capsized on July 24, 1915, killing 844 people.[8]

In March 2012, an unidentified man jumped from the bridge and was rescued by local high school students on a field trip. He later died of hypothermia.[citation needed]

In popular culture[edit]

In 1916, Carl Sandburg wrote the poem "Clark Street Bridge."[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Clark Street Bridge". Archived from the original on 2007-08-16. Retrieved 2007-05-28.
  2. ^ a b c "Chicago River Bascule Bridge, Clarke Street, Spanning Chicago River at Clarke Street, Chicago, Cook County, IL". Historic American Engineering Record. Retrieved 2007-05-28.
  3. ^ McBriarty, Patrick T. (2013). Chicago River Bridges. Urbana, Chicago, and Springfield: University of Illinois Press. pp. 86–94. ISBN 978-0-252-03786-3.
  4. ^ "Column 1". Chicago Tribune. 1853-09-09. p. 3.
  5. ^ "Clark Street Bridge". Chicago Tribune. 1854-02-11. p. 2.
  6. ^ "Trail of the Rioters". Chicago Tribune. 1855-06-21. p. 2.
  7. ^ "Annual report of the Supervising Inspector-general Steamboat-inspection Service, Year ending June 30, 1908". Harvard University. Retrieved 23 September 2019.
  8. ^ "Dewey - Addams - Chicago". Archived from the original on 2012-07-30. Retrieved 2007-03-08.
  9. ^ Sandburg, Carl (1916). Chicago Poems. Henry Holt.

External links[edit]

Media related to Clark Street Bridge at Wikimedia Commons