Construction begins on pedestrian bridge over Lake Shore Drive in Chicago

Dec. 1, 2020

The 43rd Street project is the fourth bridge project undertaken to improve access to the lakefront on the city’s South Side

The Chicago DOT (CDOT) announced that bridge construction is commencing this week on a new, fully accessible pedestrian and bike bridge over the railroad tracks and South Lake Shore Drive at 43rd Street.

The first step will be the closure of the existing, non-ADA accessible pedestrian bridge ahead of the demolition of the old structure. Neighborhood residents will be able use the new pedestrian and bike bridge at 41st Street or the underpass and bridge at 47th Street to access Burnham Park and the lakefront during the two-year project. 

The new replacement bridge will feature a similar, curving, S-shaped design to the new companion bridge at 41st Street that opened in 2018. It will be fully ADA accessible with ramps to accommodate bicycles, wheel chairs, and emergency vehicles. The new bridge is expected to open for use at the end of 2022. 

According to CDOT, the 43rd Street project is the fourth of five bridge projects undertaken by CDOT to improve access to the lakefront on the city’s South Side. A new suspension bridge for pedestrians and bikes at 35th Street opened in November 2016. It replaced an outmoded, non-ADA accessible pedestrian bridge that was similar to the one being replaced at 43rd Street. Last year, CDOT completed the reconstruction of the vehicular bridge over the railroad tracks at Oakwood Boulevard/39th Street. A fifth project expected to start in late 2021 will reconstruct the vehicular bridge over the railroad tracks at 31st Street. 

The spans at 41st Street and 43rd Street are designed by AECOM with Cordogan, Clark & Associates and were developed in coordination with the Chicago Park District. The inclined arch mono-truss structures support large, graceful S-curves that echo the curves of the walkways in Burnham Park. The prime contractor is FH Paschen.