Lake Shore Drive

From Academic Kids

Missing image
The double-decker Lake Shore Drive Bridge across the Chicago River; Wacker Drive is visible in the background

Lake Shore Drive (LSD) is a mostly freeway-standard expressway running parallel with and next to Lake Michigan through Chicago, Illinois, USA. Except for the northernmost part, it is designated as part of U.S. Highway 41.

The downtown part originally opened as Leif Erickson Drive in 1937 (and was also called Field Boulevard); it was renamed Lake Shore Drive in 1946.

Plans were made to extend Lake Shore Drive farther north through Rogers Park and into Evanston. Those plans were abandoned as a result of protests against cutting neighborhoods off from the lake. Specifically, Rogers Park voters rejected the extension in a referendum in November 2004. Massive white boulders along the lakefront at Loyola University Chicago still remain from the original expansion project. "Lake Shore Drive" is also the name (and subject) of a 1970s song by Aliotta, Haynes, and Jeremiah.


Missing image
Lake Shore Drive at the Chicago River in 1941
Missing image
Looking northeast across Lakeshore East at the triple-decker Wacker Drive. The road to the west is older; only the middle level continues east. Lake Shore Drive used to intersect the upper level and turn east here. The Link Bridge on Lake Shore Drive is in the background.

In 1937, the double-decker Link Bridge over the Chicago River opened, along with viaducts over rail yards and other industrial areas connecting to both ends of it. The lower level was intended for a railroad connection, but it was never used until LSD was rebuilt in 1986. At the time the bridge was built, it was the longest and widest bascule bridge in the world.[1] ([2] (

North of the river, LSD intersected Ohio Street at grade, and then passed over Grand Avenue and Illinois Street on its way to the bridge. South of the river, LSD came from the south on its current alignment, but continued straight at the curve north of Monroe Street, rising onto a viaduct. It intersected Randolph Street at grade and then continued north above the Illinois Central Railroad's yard. At the river, it made a sharp turn to the right, and another sharp turn to the left onto the bridge. These curves were known locally as the S-Curve.

When Wacker Drive was extended east to LSD in the 1970s, its upper level ended at LSD at the west curve (the lower level dead-ended underneath). A new development at the northeast corner of the Randolph Street intersection resulted in an extension of Randolph across LSD.

Construction began in 1982 on a realignment of LSD south of the river (along with a reconstruction north of the river). A whole new alignment was built, greatly smoothing the S-curve. The northbound side opened opened in October 1985, and the southbound side opened in November 1986.[3] ( A new lower level was built, using the lower level of the bridge, and providing access to the new Wacker Drive and the roads on the north side of the river.

The old road south of Randolph became a Cancer Survivors Plaza; the east-west part was reconstructed as part of Wacker Drive (which was being rebuilt at the time). The rest, between Randolph and Wacker, was kept for several years as Field Boulevard, but was demolished, with only the southernmost part remaining in 1994, and even that gone now. Current plans are for new upper level streets in the area as part of the Lakeshore East development.

On November 10, 1996, new northbound lanes opened next to the original southbound lanes at Soldier Field, getting rid of the original wide median from 1943.[4] (

Locations of note


Academic Kids Menu

  • Art and Cultures
    • Art (
    • Architecture (
    • Cultures (
    • Music (
    • Musical Instruments (
  • Biographies (
  • Clipart (
  • Geography (
    • Countries of the World (
    • Maps (
    • Flags (
    • Continents (
  • History (
    • Ancient Civilizations (
    • Industrial Revolution (
    • Middle Ages (
    • Prehistory (
    • Renaissance (
    • Timelines (
    • United States (
    • Wars (
    • World History (
  • Human Body (
  • Mathematics (
  • Reference (
  • Science (
    • Animals (
    • Aviation (
    • Dinosaurs (
    • Earth (
    • Inventions (
    • Physical Science (
    • Plants (
    • Scientists (
  • Social Studies (
    • Anthropology (
    • Economics (
    • Government (
    • Religion (
    • Holidays (
  • Space and Astronomy
    • Solar System (
    • Planets (
  • Sports (
  • Timelines (
  • Weather (
  • US States (


  • Home Page (
  • Contact Us (

  • Clip Art (
Personal tools