The Cermak Road bridge: A reminder of what the Chicago River used to be

May 12, 2010


(photo by Lee Bey)

The main branch of the Chicago River--that watery canyon with walls of steel and glass--gets all the attention. With its tour boats and river walks, the Main Branch is almost a second lakefront; a place so scenic, we forget the river was once a rough and tumble industrial waterway on which Chicago depended for its survival. However, the South Branch reminds us of what the river once was. It is wide, muscular and visually untamed, as is the case with vista above from the Canal Street bridge just north of Cermak. It contrasts greatly with:


(photo by Lee Bey)


(photo by Lee Bey)


(photo by Lee Bey)

The Canal Street bridge, with its workaday brick Art Moderne bridge house , was built in 1949 under Mayor Martin Kennelly and is the fourth bridge on that site.