Traffic Alert: Chicago Avenue Bridge Reconstruction Bridge Closure for 5-Month Project Begins November 1st

The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) will close Chicago Avenue, between Larrabee Street and Halsted Street at 5:00 a.m. on November 1 to begin the demolition of the 100 year old bascule bridge.  In its place, CDOT will install an interim bridge to ensure continued safe travel over the north branch of the Chicago River.

The current bridge was constructed in 1914 and requires full replacement to maintain and support the volume of vehicle, bus, bicycle and pedestrian traffic in this active corridor.  Preliminary work on the project began in late September.

On November 1, CDOT will start the bridge project with the demolition of the existing bridge, followed by its replacement with a new interim bridge structure. The full project to replace the bridge is expected to last five months; however, the roadway on Chicago Avenue is expected to reopen before project completion.  After the reopening of the roadway, the final month of the project will include the installation of new road and navigational lighting.

Marked detours have been designed for bicyclists, pedestrians, personal vehicles, buses and trucks. CDOT is making every effort to minimize traffic disruptions and is limiting other construction on the detour routes, and restricting parking to maximize road capacity.

CDOT has also partnered with CTA to initiate an innovative pilot program to help mitigate the impact of the bridge detour for the 15,000 daily bus riders in this corridor. In order to maintain service reliability and trip speed for CTA bus route #66 Chicago customers, a temporary, shared bus-bike lane will be installed in both directions on Halsted St. between Chicago Ave. and Division St.. The shared bus-bike lane will be curbside and will have no impact on normal traffic flow or roadway capacity along Halsted. The shared bus-bike lane will be exclusive to CTA buses and bicycles, and parking will be restricted in this area to accommodate the bus-bike lane. CDOT and CTA encourage the use of public transportation during the construction detour.

Construction and installation of the permanent structure is expected to occur in 2021.

CDOT will communicate regularly with stakeholders on the progress of this project, and Alderman Reilly will include these updates in Reilly Reports. To add your contact information to CDOT’s project update email distribution list, contact the resident engineer Andrew Mey at 312-914-5461 or by email at

Source:  Alderman Reilly Reports 10/26/18