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LaSalle Street Bridge to close for testing Tuesday

The Wells and LaSalle Street bridges lift to allow sailboats to pass on June 11, 2011. | Sun-Times file photo

The LaSalle Street Bridge over the Chicago River will be closed for testing Tuesday morning to prepare for the spring boating season.

The bridge will be closed from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., according to a statement from the Chicago Department of Transportation.

Northbound traffic will be rerouted via Wacker, Dearborn and Kinzie, CDOT said. Southbound vehicles will be detoured via Kinzie, Clark and Wacker.

CDOT began testing bridges along the length of the river last month to prepare for the bridge lifts that will be required once the spring boating season begins.

Every spring and fall, workers raise the movable bridges along the Main and South Branches of the river twice weekly — on Saturdays and Wednesdays — to accommodate recreational boats traveling to and from their storage yards.

During these “boat runs,” the bridges — all 27 between Ashland and Lake Shore Drive — are raised sequentially, typically one at a time. Each bridge lift takes an average of 8-12 minutes.