Years in making, Chicago officials cut ribbon on Navy Pier Flyover to connect Lakefront Trail

Chicago News

CHICAGO — A project to connect the Lakefront Trail downtown near Navy Pier has been completed after construction began in 2014.

The construction timeline of the Navy Pier Flyover spanned three mayors. It was initiated under Mayor Daley, contracted under Mayor Emanuel and completed under Mayor Lightfoot.

At the ribbon cutting Monday, Mayor Lightfoot discussed how the project will impact the city.

“That will not only significantly enhance public safety, but also draw residents and visitors, from near and far to our city, to provide an incredible, breathtaking view of our iconic skyline.

The bridge now links 18 miles of the Lakefront Trail from Hollywood Avenue down to 71st Street.

The Flyover is a steel and concrete pedestrian and bike bridge that was constructed along the east side of the Lake Shore Drive Bridge. It extends for almost half a mile from Jane Addams Park and the Ohio Street Beach to DuSable Harbor on the south side of the Chicago River.

It also includes a ramp for pedestrians and bikes that connects the trail to Navy Pier.

The Flyover project has already won several awards, including the ACEC of Illinois Lincoln’s Grand Conceptor award this year, and was listed as one of the Top 10 Bridge Projects of 2020 by Roads & Bridges Magazine.

Following are details of the three phases of the project:

Phase 1 – North Segment: Starting at the north end of Jane Addams Park, the path rises over the Ohio Street underpass and Grand Avenue onto upper Lake Shore Drive behind Lake Point Tower. It then crosses over Illinois and terminates north of Ogden Slip. It includes a ramp that leads down to Navy Pier, following the alignment of the Lake Shore Drive off-ramp.

Phase 2 – DuSable Segment:  This portion consists of a 16-foot-wide multipurpose bridge from the north end of the Chicago River Bridge, running adjacent to Lake Shore Drive and over DuSable Park to just north of Ogden Slip. The new steel structure includes a steel spine, which achieves a smooth and complex horizontal and vertical alignment necessary to clear existing Lake Shore Drive and area structures.

Phase 3 – Chicago River Bridge Segment: This segment was the most complex to construct as it involved retrofitting the existing movable LSD bridge with a cantilever structure off the east side of the bridge. It also doubles the width of the sidewalk on the east side of the lower level of the LSD movable bridge to at least 16 feet; the northbound side of the new path tunnels through the existing bridge houses in order to achieve this additional width. This phase also involves needed structural and mechanical repairs to the movable bascule bridge.

The structural and mechanical work on the LSD Bridge will be continuing through 2021. It cost $64 million.

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