At long last, the Navy Pier Flyover project is officially complete. Mayor Lori Lightfoot today joined Gov. Pritzker and officials from the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) to cut the ribbon on the $64 million lakefront infrastructure improvement on Monday.
The long-delayed flyover has been in discussion since at least 2011 and began construction in 2014. It consists of a 2,160-foot long elevated pathway extending from Ohio Street Beach to DuSable Harbor. The project helps eliminate conflicts between foot and bike traffic on the Chicago Lakefront Trail and motorists heading to and from Navy Pier along Grand Avenue, Illinois Street, and Lake Shore Drive.
"The Lakefront Trail is undoubtedly one of Chicago's crown jewels—a reputation that has only been amplified thanks to the completion of the Navy Pier Flyover project, which seamlessly connects our North and South Sides," said Mayor Lightfoot Monday in a statement.
"This incredible project also improves public safety and provides stunning views of our lakefront and Navy Pier for pedestrians, joggers, and bikers alike. I am thrilled to finally be able to cut the ribbon to this project and open it up for our residents to enjoy just in time for the summer," Lightfoot said.
The Navy Pier flyover was built in three phases from north to south. The first segment rises past the podium of Lake Point Tower, and phase two traverses the Ogden Slip and the future home of DuSable Park. The third and final phase involved crossing the Chicago River by hanging a cantilevered path structure on the east side of the Lake Shore Drive bridge and punching 16-foot-wide passageways through the historic 1937 limestone bridge house structures.
Work on the flyover progressed slowly at times, partly due to the need to complete unanticipated repairs to the existing bridge and the work being contingent on funding availability. The Chicago Reader noted that the pathway had taken longer to complete than San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge ....and that was way back in 2017.
The designer for phases one and two was HNTB and Muller + Muller and the designer for phase three was WSP USA. The Prime contractor for phase one was FH Paschen and the prime contractor for phases two and three was Granite Construction. TY Lin served as the construction manager.
Some remaining structural and mechanical work on the Lake Shore Drive Bridge is expected to continue through 2021, according to the city.