City shows off two new bridges on North Halsted
BY TINA SFONDELES Transportation Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org May 25, 2012 4:01PM
The newly constructed "tier-arch" bridge on Halsted just south of Division, May 25, 2012 | Brian Jackson~Chicago Sun-Times
Updated: July 3, 2012 10:38AM
If you’re driving on Halsted Street near Division, you’ll see something bright blue, shiny and new.
The new “tied-arch” bridge in the 1100 block of North Halsted is open to traffic, bikers and pedestrians. It’s replacing an old movable — or “bascule” — bridge built in 1904.
The new bridge is wider, with two lanes of traffic and a new bike lane in each direction.
“It’s very cost-effective. It’s also now a complete street, with wide sidewalks and bike lanes,” said Dan Burke, Deputy Commissioner of the city’s Department of Transportation. “And it’s moving traffic through this area as well.”
Construction on the $13.7 million project began in December 2010. The bridge opened to traffic in December 2011, but on Friday, city transportation officials announced the completion of the bridge, as well as the re-opening of the bascule bridge on Halsted just north of Chicago Avenue over the North Branch of the Chicago River.
That bridge was built in the 1950s, and the last rehab work was done nearly 30 years ago. That project included the complete replacement of the road floor and deck, installation of new sidewalks and handrails, and the addition of bike lanes and guardrails to protect people from cars.
Burke said it’s important to think about the history of the area when replacing or fixing bridges.
“We’re looking for something more than just the typical steel bridge,” Burke said. “People really associate this area with the bridges and the industrial past. So we want something that kind of provides people with a link with that Goose Island identity and a link to the past as well.”