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Work to begin on new 41st Street bike and pedestrian bridge

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The delayed Bronzeville project is ready to move forward

City of Chicago

City officials and members of the Bronzeville community came together yesterday to formally break ground on a new bike and pedestrian bridge at 41st Street on Chicago’s South Side. Though it was delayed earlier this year due to a budget disagreement between the state and the city, the long-discussed project is finally ready to begin its reach across Lake Shore Drive and the Illinois Central rail tracks to connect the neighborhood to Chicago’s lakefront trails and beaches.

Designed by Cordogan, Clark & Associates, the snaking bridge will utilize a double-curved arched mono-truss layout and mirror the meandering curves found in Chicago’s older, Frederick Law Olmsted-designed parks. According to the city, the majority of the project’s $28.7 million price tag will come from a $18.7 million federal grant from the US Department of Transportation. It is expected to open in late 2018.

The 41st Street bridge will supplement the fully accessible, suspension bridge that opened last fall at 35th Street. The city hopes to eventually provide the previously isolated Near South Side with the same frequency of lakefront connections as the North Side—or roughly one every quarter mile. A third pedestrian bridge at 43rd street plus new vehicular bridges at 31st and 39th streets are also in the works and could open by the end of 2019.

An aerial rendering of the 41st Street bridge.
City of Chicago