Navy Pier Bypass Looks Ready For Next Phase

It’s been almost exactly three years since CDOT embarked on a project few thought could be possible: A safe, dedicated, automobile-free method for non-motorized transportation across the mouth of the Chicago River.

Construction began in March of 2014 on the lakefront bicycle and pedestrian bridge project that will eventually connect the Loop with both Navy Pier, and the northern stretches of the city’s lakefront trail.

The previous (and still current) situation in many places involved narrow pathways adjacent to speeding cars and punctuated by steel girders.  Part of the journey involved a dangerous criss-crossing of walking and bicycle paths.  And depending on your destination, you could be subjected to stairs, winding walkways, and worse.

Navy Pier Flyover under construction (Courtesy of Loop Spy Joel)

Navy Pier Flyover under construction (Courtesy of Loop Spy Joel)

These picture sent in by Loop Spy Joel show that the first phase of the Navy Pier flyover project looks about done.  Unfortunately, there’s still a long way to go, so what we have now is an intriguing-looking system of bridges to nowhere.

The second phase is to connect those bridges to an elevated span running over Ogden Slip and the future DuSable Park along Lake Shore Drive.  Because of its location, there won’t be all that much to see in terms of progress.  But at least there should be far fewer lane disruptions for motorists.

Navy Pier Flyover under construction (Courtesy of Loop Spy Joel)

Navy Pier Flyover under construction (Courtesy of Loop Spy Joel)

Phase three is where it gets interesting: That’s the movable bridge portion of the project as it flies over the Chicago River and lands near DuSable Harbor.  Look for that landing to happen sometime next year.

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Author: Editor

Editor founded the Chicago Architecture Blog in 2003, after a long career in journalism. He can be reached at

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