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Old Posted Jun 17, 2006, 3:54 AM
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SevenSevenThree SevenSevenThree is offline
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Location: Chicago
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North Avenue Bridge reconstruction begins

Temporary bridge to handle traffic during construction.

New bridge to feature two full lanes in each direction.

Construction crews next week will begin work to replace the North Avenue Bridge over the North Branch of the Chicago River.

The project will replace the 99-year-old bridge with a modern, architecturally significant bridge employing the latest in bridge technology.

But before that work begins, the city will build a temporary bridge to handle vehicles and pedestrians—so that North Avenue traffic can continue to flow throughout the project.

The new North Avenue bridge will widen the roadway to feature two full lanes in each direction, the same as the rest of North Avenue. Currently, North Avenue narrows to one lane over the bridge.

“This additional lane will be a great benefit to traffic in the North Avenue corridor,” said CDOT Acting Commissioner Cheri Heramb. The new bridge will also feature sidewalks on both sides, a benefit for pedestrians, Heramb said.

The $21.4 million project represents Mayor Richard M. Daley’s continuing investment in Chicago’s transportation infrastructure.

The new bridge will be a hybrid suspension/cable-stay bridge, the first of its kind in Chicago.

The center section will be a suspension bridge, while the ends will be a cable-stay bridge. A suspension bridge hangs from cables anchored at each end, while a cable-stay bridge supports the deck with cables from a central tower or towers.

This configuration allows for an open, airy bridge with a thin deck, or roadway platform. It also creates the maximum amount of clearance over the river, as required by the federal government.

“In a city with a long heritage of innovative bridge design, the new North Avenue Bridge will be a notable addition,” Heramb said.

Traffic impacts

The city has structured the project so that North Avenue will remain open to traffic throughout construction. The temporary bridge will have one lane in each direction, the same as the current configuration. One sidewalk will also remain open.

“As with all our projects, our goal is to minimize the impact on motorists, businesses and residents,” Heramb said.

Motorists wishing to avoid the area can use Cortland to the north or Division to the south.

The project is scheduled for completion in fall 2007.
Satan (impatiently) to Newcomer: The trouble with you Chicago people is, that you think you are the best people down here; whereas you are merely the most numerous.
- - - Mark Twain "Pudd'nhead Wilson's New Calendar," 1897
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