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Old 06-23-2018, 10:52 AM   #1
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Loopers and Chicago residents...

We’re currently staying In a hotel in Chicago and we’re planning to do the Loop in a couple of years. I asked a couple of your boat captains if this was the branch of the river that had a lowest bridge height of 13 feet or the branch that had a minimum height of 19’. Neither knew what I was talking about.
Anybody know which branch this is? It goes right down by the Riverwalk and Wacker Drive. Click image for larger version

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Old 06-23-2018, 10:57 AM   #2
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That’s low bridge river
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Old 06-23-2018, 11:11 AM   #3
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That’s low bridge river
Good to know. Thanks. You know more than the local boat captains. 😃
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Old 06-23-2018, 11:15 AM   #4
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We went through that route 2 years ago on our loop trip. The lowest bridge is listed at 17 feet. We were able to remove our top and lower the arch to get to exactly 17 feet. The river was a bit lower and we had about a foot to spare. It was well worth the effort to be able to cruise right through Chicago on our own boat. I figured worst case we'd turn around and go back out to the lake.

The other route is farther south in the Cal-Sag waterway. The lowest bridge there is 19.8' I believe. Again, the listed height can vary based on the river level. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't want to take a 20' tall boat on the loop and hope the river was lower though!
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Old 06-23-2018, 11:33 AM   #5
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You should join the AGLCA for all looper info
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Old 06-23-2018, 02:45 PM   #6
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The river bridges for the most part are 17. There is a fixed railway bridge up the river that is 19.2- thatis the one you hear about. The bascule bridges however now only open on I think Wednesday’s and Saturday’s at specific times and no longer everyday like they did when I moved to Chicago. The view looks like you are at the Hyatt, east tower...
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Old 06-23-2018, 04:04 PM   #7
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Michigan Ave (DuSable Bridge) is 17 ft. Since it is dubbed "Historic", doubt it will ever be modified for an extra foot of clearance that the other surrounding bridges have.
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Old 06-23-2018, 04:10 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Gmarr View Post
The river bridges for the most part are 17. There is a fixed railway bridge up the river that is 19.2- thatis the one you hear about. The bascule bridges however now only open on I think Wednesday’s and Saturday’s at specific times and no longer everyday like they did when I moved to Chicago. The view looks like you are at the Hyatt, east tower...
This leaves two routes for the loop. Those that can clear 17' can take the downtown route. Those that can not, but can clear 19'1" go 11 miles south of Chicago and take the Cal-Sag route.
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Old 06-23-2018, 04:58 PM   #9
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The bascule bridges however now only open on I think Wednesday’s and Saturday’s at specific times and no longer everyday like they did when I moved to Chicago. The view looks like you are at the Hyatt, east tower...
I worked out of (the old) Crowley's on the south branch of the river in the late 80s. We stored about 800 sailboats, most mast-up, and they all had to get to the lake each spring and back each fall. We organized flotillas as much as possible, and sometimes had 30-40 boats parading as a group through downtown with a team of bridge tenders leapfrogging from bridge to bridge. Fun times.
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