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Navy Pier Flyover completion pushed back to 2019

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Repairs to the aging Outer Drive Bridge have added another year of construction to the lakefront project

The elevated bike and pedestrian connection has been under construction since 2014.
Harry Carmichael

Chicago’s slow-moving Navy Pier Flyover project will open a year later than originally projected, city officials have confirmed. While work started last month on the second phase of the elevated bike and pedestrian bridge, the yet-to-begin third phase is reportedly the reason behind the delay. Unforeseen repairs to the existing New Deal-era Outer Drive Bridge mean the project will not wrap-up until mid 2019 at the earliest.

City of Chicago

According to the Chicago Tribune, the phase three bridge complications will not only push back the project’s delivery date, but will likely see the flyover exceed its previously announced cost estimate of $60 million. The Chicago Department of Transportation will not comment on final cost figures due to the fact that phase three is still seeking contractor bids.

Under construction since early 2014, the flyover is designed to reduce crossing conflicts between lakefront trail users and automobiles going to and from Chicago’s Navy Pier, Lake Shore Drive, and the Streeterville neighborhood. Starting north at Ohio Street Beach, the pathway will hug Lake Point Tower, clear the Ogden Slip, bypass DuSable Park, and span the mouth of the Chicago River.

Lakefront bikers, joggers, and sightseers will be able to at least start using a portion of the flyover to avoid the dark and dangerous intersections at Grand and Illinois once phase two is completed in 2018. Crossing the Chicago River via the narrow sidewalks and blind corners of the Outer Drive Bridge, however, will continue to be a white-knuckle experience for the next two years.