NO. 10 BRIDGE: Lakefront Bicycle Trail Phase #3 - Lake Shore Drive Bridge

Dec. 2, 2021

Flyover bridge includes a new bike path over the Chicago River

(This feature published as "Along the Lakefront" in November/December 2021 issue)

The Navy Pier Flyover trail is an 18.5-mile shared-use path for walking, jogging, skateboarding, and cycling, located along the western shore of Lake Michigan.

The current and final phase of the project to provide updated infrastructure for the new lakefront trail consists of building a new bike path over the Chicago River onto the east side of the existing Lake Shore Drive Bridge through both the northeast and southeast bridge towers.

Some major scopes of the project include the installation of five submarine cables across the river between the bridge houses, a new DC electric control system, new traffic signals and gates, lighting upgrades along the lakefront bicycle trail, and new foundations for the bridge houses. Additionally, micropiles were drilled to support the new foundations of the buildings, and the bridge support will come from an extension of the existing boathouses on either side of Lake Shore Drive. Each bridge house now has seven new foundations, and there is a single micropile to support the column just south of the river.

A unique aspect of this project is the work being performed from a series of floating barges and boats, at times, using both a drill rig and support crane operated on the barge at the same time. The crew was trained extensively to perform this work safely. At the same time, additional value-engineering was done for each equipment and material configuration to understand the storage limits to avoid barge lifting while performing each operation.

Aldridge digitally scanned the entire project and built all of the electrical conduits into a BIM model. Utilizing this method overcame the obstacle of limited space within the towers that did not lend well to building electrical conduits. The use of an off-site prefabrication shop allowed for a safer, more efficient, and productive process.

Project: Lakefront Bicycle Trail Phase #3 - Navy Pier Flyover - Lake Shore Drive Bridge

Location: Chicago, Illinois

Owner: Chicago Department of Transportation

Designer: AAA Engineering Ltd. and T.Y. Lin International

Contractor: Kenny Construction (Granite) - general contractor; Aldridge Electric - subcontractor

Cost: $15 million

Length: 286 linear ft

Completion Date: March 11, 2022