View Bridge Lifts at Bridgehouse Museum

The fall 2021 Chicago bridge lift viewing season runs most Saturdays through the end of October. The McCormick Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum is the only place people can view the massive working gears that make a bridge lift possible. Private viewings on Wednesdays are also available by renting the museum for groups up to 15 people.

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. 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. Tickets include time to visit the museum.

Saturday bridge lift viewing: September 25, October 2, 9, 23 and 30. Arrive at the museum at 9:30 a.m. Bridge lifts will likely occur between 9:45 and 10 a.m.

Wednesday private rental viewing: Every Wednesday through October 27 is available for private rentals. Please contact for more info on these dates.

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 and social distancing are required at all times. Any changes to the bridge lift schedule by the City of Chicago will be posted to the museum’s website at