Current photos show the recent partial opening of the Navy Pier Flyover‘s bridge section, located at the mouth of the Chicago River.
This opening represents a key milestone of the third and final phase of a 1,750-foot elevated path planned by the Department of Transportation to allow for wider and more streamlined bike and pedestrian access along the stretch of lakefront trail by Navy Pier.
The two completed phases cover the distance from just north of Ohio Street Beach to the southern tip of DuSable Park. The underway and southernmost third stage connects the pathway to the Lakeshore East side of the Chicago River.
HNTB is the designer behind the elevated system, which for the first two phases used a steel tube and “rib” system to allow for greater degrees of freedom. For the third phase, the path camouflages into an extended walkway along the existing Outer Drive Bridge, maintaining a minimum 16-foot width by cantilevering over the river and tunneling through the bridge’s towers.
Multiple bus options can be found for riders and walkers on both sides of the river, including Routes 2, 29, 65, 66, 120, 121, and 124 on the Streeterville side and Routes 4, 6, 20, 60, 124, 134, 135, and 136 on the Lakeshore East side. As for the CTA L, the northern end of the flyover has access to the Red Line via Grand station, a 19-minute walk west. At the southern end, all CTA lines are located within a 20-minute walk southwest of the project toward The Loop.
Navy Pier itself is within a six-minute walk east from the path, and can be reached via an integrated offramp that was built as part of Phase 1.
FH Paschen served as the general contractor for Phase 1, while Kenny Construction of Granite Construction has served as general contractor for Phases 2 and 3. Though the full length of this third phase is now accessible, part of the lane near the bridge tower area remains walled off. A full completion and opening is expected for later this year.