The Local Planning Subcommittee has curated exciting technical tours for #ASCE2023.  Tour tickets can be purchased when completing your Convention registration.  


Northerly Island Park Restoration
Wednesday, 10/18/2023, 1:00 PM – 3:30 PM

The 2-mile walking tour will be led by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, who was the lead agency for this fishery and ecosystem restoration project. Northerly Island was a 91-acre manmade peninsula dreamed up by Chicago's famous architect and planner Daniel H. Burhham, located on the shores of Lake Michigan, constructed in the 1920s adjacent to Chicago's Museum Campus and providing protection to Burnham Harbor Marina from wave action. This is the former site of the 1933 Chicago World's Fair, operated Meigs Field Airport for 50 years, and then used for passive recreation for 20 years. The tour will discuss the transition of this site to an urban park consisting of natural prairie and savanna, a 5-acre pond, shoreline stabilization, and strolling paths, along with providing year-round outdoor and environmental programs through the Chicago Park District.

Prior to this project, there was a paved bicycle path that meandered throughout the park and was surrounded by a prairie-like field that provided stop-over habitat for many species of migratory birds. The field consisted of a combination of invasive species and random native plants. In addition, much of the field was mowed and had little ecologic value. Aquatic resources in the project area are limited to the surrounding Lake Michigan. The perimeter of the project area is contained by revetment walls that provide a limited ecosystem with very few macrophytes and habitat niches for aquatic organisms to thrive. Overall, the southern portion of Northerly Island is providing limited ecosystem benefits and lowering the ecological integrity of the surrounding area. The project created 40 acres of coastal habitat.

These 40 acres of coastal habitat in southern Lake Michigan include 18 acres of oak savanna, 10 acres of mesic prairie, 3.3 acres of wet prairie, 2.2 acres of emergent marsh, 4.1 acres of pond, and 1.7 acres of lacustrine littoral habitat. The project greatly benefits habitat for a variety of migratory and resident bird species, fish, amphibians, reptiles, insects, and mammals. Specifically, the state threatened banded killifish (Fundulus diaphanous) and mudpuppy (Necturus maculosus) may benefit from this project. The mandatory operation and maintenance of this project by the Chicago Park District will ensure permanent long term sustainable benefits to these resources.

Please wear comfortable, closed-toe shoes. This tour will depart from the Hilton Chicago via mini bus, but you will be walking 2 miles once on site.

This ticket must be purchased in addition to full registration.

EB: $60 | ADV: $70 | ONS:  $80



Chicago Style Bascule Bridge Tour
Wednesday, 10/18/2023, 1:30 – 4:30PM

The first Chicago-style Bascule Bridge was opened in 1902 at Cortland Street (known as Clybourn Place back then) and is still in operation today. This bridge was the first of its kind to be awarded landmark status by the ASCE, granted in October 1989. This tour will take you inside the Wells Street Bridge, connecting the Near North Side and the "Loop".  The Wells Street Bridge is a double deck bridge with traffic on the lower deck and the upper deck servicing the Chicago Transit Authority's Brown and Purple lines. On this tour, you will learn about the mechanics of how Chicago-type Bascule Bridges operate as well as the history of how these bridges came to be. The tour will be led by leadership within the City of Chicago Department of Transportation Bureau of Bridges.

Please wear comfortable, closed-toe shoes. You will be walking into the bridge.

Please note:  This tour will be offered at two times: 2 PM and 3 PM.  Please select your tour time when registering.  The first tour departs at 1:30 PM and will be back by 3:30 PM.  The second tour will depart at 2:30 PM and return by 4:30 PM.

This ticket must be purchased in addition to full registration.

EB: $60 | ADV: $70 | ONS:  $80



Architecture Tour with Inside Chicago
Wednesday, 10/18/23, 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM
Saturday, 10/21/23, 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM

On this tour, you'll learn about the city's beginnings on the Chicago River, its rebirth after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 and its development into a commercial and cultural hub, all while viewing structures in the order they were built. These buildings—including the Page Brothers Building, Old Dearborn Bank, the Chicago Motor Club, the Carbide and Carbon Building, NBC Tower and more—tell the story of how architectural technology evolved over time. You'll see up close how each building has its own unique design, often reflecting the style that was popular or prevalent when it was constructed.

The tour will depart via mini-bus.  Attendees will then walk along the river and return to the Chicago Hilton on foot via the loop.  Please wear comfortable shoes. A jacket or umbrella may be needed, depending on the weather.

Note: This tour runs on two days, Wednesday and Saturday, take your pick.

This ticket must be purchased in addition to full registration.

EB: $86 | ADV: $96 | ONS:  $106

PDH 1.5

Wednesday's tour is sponsored by Bechtel.


Tour tickets are available until the tour reaches maximum capacity.  ASCE reserves the right to cancel any tour that has not reached its minimum capacity by 9/13/2023.