Smoothing the S-Curve of Lake Shore Drive

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.

Harbour began construction in 1982 on the realignment of Lake Shore Drive south of the river (along with a reconstruction north of the river). A whole new alignment was built, greatly smoothing the S-curve. The 16-mile long drive extends from South Marquette Drive to North Hollywood Boulevard. By 1996 new northbound lanes opened. Before this 1996 reconstruction, the northbound lane ran on the east side of Soldier Field while the southbound lane ran on the west side.


A Symbol of Downtown Chicago

The northbound side opened in October 1985, and the southbound side opened in November 1986. 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. In 1996, new northbound lanes opened next to the original southbound lanes at Soldier Field, eliminating the original wide median from 1943.

Lake Shore Drive (officially Jean Baptiste Point du Sable Lake Shore Drive and called DuSable Lake Shore Drive, The Outer Drive, The Drive, or LSD) is a multilevel expressway that runs alongside the shoreline of Lake Michigan and is adjacent to parkland and beaches, in Chicago. Except for the portion north of Foster Avenue (5200 North), Lake Shore Drive is designated as part of U.S. Highway 41.

Previously, from the Chicago River south to 57th Street, it was named Leif Ericson Drive in 1927 for explorer Leif Ericson. The roadway was also nicknamed Field Boulevard. The entire road was renamed Lake Shore Drive in 1946, and its scenic views of the waterfront, beaches, parks, towers, and high-rises have become symbolic of Downtown Chicago.

  • A part of US Route 41, which runs from North West Indiana to South East Wisconsin
  • A whole new alignment was built, significantly smoothing the S-curve
  • The 16-mile long drive extends from South Marquette Drive to North Hollywood Boulevard

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311 South Wacker Drive
AT&T Plaza
Algonquin Galleria Lifestyle Center
Burr Ridge Police Station
Butler National Golf Club
Huntington Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island
Chicago Fire Toyota Park (Now SeatGeek Stadium)
Chicago’s 12th (Near West) District Police Station
Chicago’s 23rd, Now 19th District Police Station
Darien Sportsplex
Dearborn Station
Drake Oak Brook Office Plaza
Freedom Commons
Ha-Lo/Shure Offices
Harbour Headquarters and Corporate Office
Harger Woods Corporate Center
Kendall County Public Safety Center
Lewis University Airport Private Hangar
Local 399 Union Hall and Training Center
LyondellBasell Morris Manufacturing Complex
Marianjoy Rehabilitation Center
Museum Campus
Nature’s Care Co. Dispensary
MB Oak Brook Bank
Oak Brook Promenade
Oak Brook Shopping Center
Oakbrook Terrace Police Station
O’Hare Airport Transit System
O’Hare Air Rescue Firefighter Station No. 2
O’Hare Modernization Program
One Lincoln Centre
Charter One Pavilion at Northerly Island
Romeoville Aquatic Center and Splash Pad
Romeoville Athletic and Event Center
Sandwich Public Safety Complex
Scott R. Triphahn Community Ice Rink
Stepan Chemicals Millsdale
West Adams Street Bridge
Will County “302” Offices and Security
Will County Adult Detention Facility
Will County Animal Control Center
Will County Emergency Management Agency
WM Corporate Offices
WM Bluff City Transfer Station
Woodridge Police Department and Public Works


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