BUCKTOWN — A bridge over the Chicago River connecting Bucktown and Lincoln Park has reopened after delays pushed again the renovation mission by months.
The Webster Avenue bridge had been closed to site visitors since an intensive rehabilitation mission broke ground last year.
Throughout that point, employees changed the bridge deck, upgraded trusses and bracings and restored historic parts, just like the bridge home constructions of the greater than 100-year previous bridge.
Town additionally added new site visitors and bike markings, though the bridge doesn’t have a devoted bike lane. The $28 million mission was funded via town’s Chicago Works infrastructure initiative.
Previous to final 12 months’s groundbreaking, the bridge was sporadically closed for upkeep throughout 2019 and 2020.
On Wednesday morning, drivers, cyclists and pedestrians returned to the Webster bridge after officers held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the top of development.
“It actually is a crucial hyperlink between Lincoln Park and Bucktown and Logan Sq.,” Ald. Scott Waguespack (thirty second) mentioned. “We knew that it being a 100-year-old-plus bridge we have been going to need to get it mounted in some unspecified time in the future. … I believe it will nonetheless function a fantastic entry route for one more 100 years.”
Transportation officers initially deliberate for the renovation to take about 9 months. However provide chain delays impacted that timeline, with the reopening date being pushed again a number of occasions, transportation Commissioner Gia Biagi mentioned.
At Wednesday’s ribbon-cutting, Ald. Brian Hopkins (2nd) known as provide chain disruptions a “new actuality” that each main infrastructure mission has to take care of. However he mentioned he was engaged on a “detailed clarification” of delays to offer to annoyed neighbors.
“The neighborhood has been affected person and tolerant for probably the most half, however this has brought on appreciable quantity of inconvenience for the rapid neighborhood,” Hopkins mentioned.
“It backed up Fullerton, it backed up North Avenue, it backed up Cortland and it backed up Clybourn, particularly on the signalized intersections which aren’t timed to take care of that kind of site visitors circulate. So that you had this domino impact.”
Inbuilt 1916, the Webster bridge is “a traditional instance of Chicago-style double-leaf trunnion bridges with pony trusses that have been constructed by town within the first 20 years of the twentieth century,” in response to town.
It has not been opened for the passage of boats because the ’60s, and it was final rehabilitated in 1967.
The historic bridge home constructions are nonetheless being renovated however needs to be accomplished in January, Biagi mentioned.
“This mission didn’t solely restore getting old infrastructure and change many structural parts. It preserved the bridges historic character and that’s so necessary. These are bridges that basically outline Chicago,” she mentioned.
The Webster mission will probably be adopted by related renovations to the Cortland Avenue bridge just a few blocks south. Work and closures are anticipated to start this spring.
In response to the Chicago Division of Transportation, the bridge upgrades embrace:
- Alternative of structural beams, trusses and bracings.
- Alternative of the bridge deck, which concerned partially filling within the metallic grates with concrete, creating an improved using floor for folks on bikes.
- Sign timing enhancements at Ashland Avenue.
- Lighting enhancements.
- Rehabilitation of historic parts, together with the bridge home constructions.
- Enhancements to crosswalks, curb ramps and sidewalks for ADA compliance.
- Improved pavement markings for shared site visitors and bike lane.
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