The Halsted Street Bridge over the Chicago River’s North Branch Canal opened today (Friday, December 23, 2011) after being closed for more than a year. Not sure where that is? It’s the part that connects Goose Island with Division Street. The new bridge is four-lanes, plus two bicycle lanes. Previously, this bridge was only two lanes. Here’s the full press release from CDOT:
The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) on Friday is opening the new Halsted Street Bridge over the Chicago River North Branch Canal, which has been closed since November 30, 2010 for reconstruction. The new tied-arch bridge will feature two full traffic lanes in each direction—up from the current one lane in each direction—as well as marked bike lanes in each direction, a configuration that will improve traffic flow and safety for motorists and bicyclists.
In addition to reconstructing the bridge, CDOT resurfaced Halsted from south of Division Street to North Branch Street and replaced 20 streetlights. CDOT will add 94 architectural lighting elements by the end of January 2012 and will also resurface the intersection of Division and Halsted in the Spring. The cost of the project will be $13.6 million.
As this bridge opens, CDOT will move to close the Halsted Street Bridge over the North Branch of the Chicago River to start a major repair project that will be completed by May 2012. This bascule bridge, which is more than 55 years old and is just north of Chicago Avenue, will undergo necessary repairs to replace floor beams, roadway stringers and grating, lateral bracing and the sidewalk stringers and grating. Some truss repairs will also be completed.
This work will required the floor system on both leafs of the bridge to be removed and all traffic, including buses, cars, trucks, bicycles and pedestrians will be re-routed to nearby streets.
Once completed, the repaired bridge will feature curb lane in-filled grating providing a bike-friendly riding surface in each direction.
This project is expected to cost $5 million.
“Both of these bridges needed to either be replaced or undergo major repairs. By starting repair work on the southern bridge immediately following the completion of the work on the northern bridge, we are minimizing the disruption of traffic while still allowing multiple access points to Goose Island,” said Gabe Klein, Commissioner of the Department of Transportation. “When this bridge work is done in May, these bridges will be complete streets and all users will enjoy a safer route over the Chicago River.”
Traffic detours until May 2012 include:
- Southbound Detour
- Trucks: Halsted Street south to Division Street, west on Division Street to Ashland Avenue, south on Ashland Avenue to Chicago Avenue, East on Chicago Avenue to Halsted Street.
- Buses and cars: Halsted Street south to Division Street, east on Division Street to Larrabee Street, south on Larrabee Street to Chicago Avenue, west on Chicago Avenue to Halsted Street.
- Northbound Detour
- Trucks: Halsted Street north to Chicago Avenue, west on Chicago Avenue to Ashland Avenue, north on Ashland Avenue to Division Street, east on Division Street to Halsted Street.
- Buses and cars: Halsted Street north to Chicago Avenue, east on Chicago Avenue to Larrabee Street, north on Larrabee Street to Division Street, west on Division Street to Halsted Street.