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Street closure planned for Van Buren Street Bridge testing Friday

Van Buren Street Bridge | Google Maps

The Van Buren Street Bridge over the Chicago River will be closed for testing Friday 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.

Traffic will be rerouted via Franklin, Madison and Clinton, CDOT said.

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.