The Chicago River Locks Photograph on Lake Michigan Skyline

Building the Chicago River Locks 1937
Picture of the Building of the Chicago River Locks 1937

The Chicago River was awarded in 1999, by the American Society of Civil Engineers as a ‘Civil Engineering Monument of the Millennium’. This man-made waterflow system was out of necessity as extreme weather of 1885 threatened the city’s water supply.

The source of the main water stem is from Lake Michigan to the Chicago River. These waters are maintained through various locks that are on the basin of the lake to the Mississippi river.

Other contributors to the water flow of the city are the many bridges and fountains that memorialize the founders and revolutionary visionaries that have made Chicago a remarkable city.

Although there have been periods of slight flooding and different pollutants that have interrupted the river flow, the city has recovered and have celebrated this engineering accomplishment with many celebrations on the Chicago River including “Mayor Daley’s Chicago River Fishing Festival” and also the dying of the Chicago River on St. Patrick’s Day.

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