Escanaba Company v. Chicago - 107 U.S. 678 (1883)
U.S. Supreme Court
Escanaba Company v. Chicago, 107 U.S. 678 (1883)
Escanaba Company v. Chicago
Decided March 5, 1883
107 U.S. 678
1. The Chicago River and its branches, although lying within the limits of the State of Illinois, are navigable waters of the United States over which Congress, in the exercise of its power under the commerce clause of the Constitution, may exercise control to the extent necessary to protect, preserve, and improve their free navigation; but until that body acts, the state has plenary authority over bridges across them, and may vest in Chicago jurisdiction over the construction, repair, and use of those bridges within the city.
2. There is nothing in the ordinance of July 13, 1787, or in the subsequent legislation of Congress that precludes the state from exercising that authority.