Construction has started on a new pedestrian and bike bridge at 41st St. over South Lake Shore Dr. in Bronzeville. The construction project will be managed by the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) and create about 140 jobs. When complete, the 41st Street Bridge will increase lakefront access on the South Side and be fully ADA accessible, with ramps to accommodate bicycles, wheel chairs and emergency vehicles.
The project is supported by an $18.76 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation, a key source of federal funding for innovative transportation projects that is slated for elimination in the proposed federal budget. Additional funding comes from other federal and state sources. The city says the prime contractor is FH Paschen.
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The new pedestrian and bike bridge is the second of five bridge projects to improve access to the lakefront on the city’s South Side. A replacement pedestrian bridge at 35th St. opened in 2016. Construction of a new vehicular bridge over the railroad tracks at Oakwood Blvd./39th St. is scheduled to start by the end of the year. CDOT is completing engineering plans for the replacement of the deteriorating, non-ADA compliant pedestrian bridge at 43rd St. Engineering is also being finalized on a project to replace the bridge over the railroad tracks at 31st St.
“Today’s groundbreaking of yet another magnificent pedestrian bridge at 41st St., underscores the significant strides we are making to ensure all residents have access to the lakefront,” Ald. Sophia King (4th) said. “Similar to the recently opened pedestrian bridge at 35th Street, also located in the 4th Ward, this bridge is an investment in our community stimulating job growth and recreational opportunities.”
The new bridges at 41st and 43rd streets are designed by AECOM with Cordogan, Clark & Associates. The inclined arch mono-truss structures are each about 1,470 feet long and will each support large, graceful S-curves that echo the curves of the walkways in Burnham Park.
“CDOT is excited to break ground today and get started on construction of this new bridge that will greatly improve access to Chicago’s lakefront for people of all ages and levels of mobility, whether they are walking, biking, in wheelchairs or pushing strollers,” CDOT Commissioner Rebekah Scheinfeld said in a news release. “We’d like to thank our federal and state partners for supporting this project and our larger goal of Building a New Chicago for the 21st Century.”