A Motorcycle Tour of Illinois Historic Bridges

Motorcycle tour of Illinois Historic Bridges

If you’re looking for a way to experience Illinois’s history on your bike, we recommend taking a bridge tour. Illinois has 118 bridges that the Illinois Department of Transportation has designated as historic. Checking out even a few of these bridges on your motorcycle is an excellent way to soak in the state’s beauty and history. 

Read on to learn more about taking an Illinois historic bridges motorcycle ride. 

Development of Illinois’s Historic Bridges

Bridges relay the history of transportation and the automobile industry in a state. They also showcase the state’s natural beauty and highlight how infrastructure has improved over time. 

In 1971, President Nixon issued an executive order to protect and enhance the cultural environment. In response to this order, the Illinois Department of Transportation began inventorying and nominating bridges for historic designation. 

Initially, the DOT identified 700 bridges eligible for historic designation. However, after further review, the committee narrowed this list to 118 bridges. 

Since then, the DOT has adjusted this list slightly. You can see a complete list of Illinois historic bridges at this link

Taking Illinois Historic Bridges Motorcycle Tour

You probably don’t have the time to visit all 118 historic bridges in Illinois. However, several areas throughout Illinois have more historic bridges than others. For instance, Cook County, where Chicago is located, has one of the highest densities of historic bridges in the U.S. 

Chicago also has more movable bridges than any other city in the world, with 37 placed throughout the city. Movable bridges have special features to allow boats to pass below. 

If you’re limited on time or simply want to condense your Illinois historic bridges motorcycle ride, we recommend staying around the Cook County area. 

Historic Bridges in Cook County, IL

Cook County is home to 199 historic bridges. Here are a few we recommend checking out on your motorcycle trip:

18th Street Bridge

This bridge is one of the only single-leaf highway bascule bridges in the city. It was built in 1967 and is 280 feet long. A bascule bridge is a bridge that lifts and allows boats to pass through.

100th Street Bridge

The 100th Street Bridge was built in 1927 by the Ketler-Elliott Company in Chicago. This bridge provides a beautiful example of the bascule-style bridge standard throughout the city. 

Clark Street Bridge

As one of Chicago’s most well-known bridges, the Clark Street Bridge passes over the Chicago River downtown. This bridge dates back to 1929 and spans 346 feet. 

Halsted Street North Branch Canal Bridge

This bridge passes over the Chicago River Canal and dates back to 1909. It’s one of the most important historic bridges in the city and serves as an excellent example of the traditional bascule bridge design. 

DuSable Bridge

The DuSable Bridge, also known as the Michigan Avenue bridge, is the most famous bascule bridge in Chicago. Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Company built this bridge in 1920. 

Safety Tips For Your Historic Bridges Motorcycle Tour

If you’re planning to limit your motorcycle tour to the Chicago area, you’ll want to take special precautions. Chicago is a bustling metropolis with busy downtown streets and millions of residents. Navigating carefully is essential. 

However, even if you plan to stick to more rural areas of Illinois, you can take safety measures to prevent accidents on your trip. Here are our safety tips for your Illinois historic bridges motorcycle ride:

  • Review Illinois’s motorcycle laws before setting out. 
  • Wear your helmet at all times. 
  • Be sure to stop your motorcycle in a safe area if you want to take pictures of a bridge. 
  • Watch out for pedestrians on bridges. 

No one plans to be involved in an accident, but if you or a loved one has experienced one the team at Law Tigers is here to help. We are a group of motorcycle attorneys who also love to ride, so we are particularly passionate about protecting the rights of riders across the USA. Please feel free to contact us at 1-888-863-7216 for a free consultation.