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Chicago River, Chicago

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Water Body
The Chicago River is a system of rivers and canals with a combined length of that runs through the city of Chicago, including its center (the Chicago Loop). Though not especially long, the river is notable for being a reason why Chicago became an important location, with the related Chicago Portage being a link between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi Valley waterways and eventually the Gulf of Mexico.The River is also noteworthy for its natural and man-made history. In 1887, the Illinois General Assembly, partly in response to concerns arising out of an extreme weather event in 1885 that threatened the city's water supply, decided to reverse the flow of the Chicago River through civil engineering by taking water from Lake Michigan and discharging it into the Mississippi River watershed. In 1889, the Illinois General Assembly created the Chicago Sanitary District (now The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District) to replace the Illinois-Michigan Canal, which had become inadequate to carry the city's increasing sewage and commercial navigation needs, with the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal, a much larger waterway. The District completed this man-made hydrologic connection between the Great Lakes and Mississippi watershed in 1900 by reversing the flow of the Main Stem and South Branch of the river using a series of canal locks, and increasing the river's flow from Lake Michigan, causing it to empty into the new Canal. In 1999, this system was named a 'Civil Engineering Monument of the Millennium' by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • "If they can dye it green on one day of the year, then why can't they dye it blue the other 355 days?"  more »
  • Across the bridge of the Chicago River on the Street North State, between the beautiful Magnificent Mile and The Loop, you will see the beauty of this site, one of the most beautiful in Chicago.
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  • One of my favorite things when I am in the City is walking along the River. It wasn't green anymore from St. Patrick's day, but the weather was nice and its a great walk.  more »