Two bridges on Halsted Street between Chicago and Division Avenues re-opened Friday following a reconstruction project intending to make them wider and more bike friendly.
The first of the bridges is located in the 1100 block of North Halsted. It underwent total reconstruction in a $13.7 million project that included tearing down the old bridge, including its pavement and lighting, the Chicago Department of Transportation said.
The new bridge, a more modern "tied-arch" design as opposed to its bascule predecessor, is wide enough to accommodate two travel lanes as well as two bike lanes, one in each direction.
The second bridge is just north of Chicago Avenue on Halsted. This bridge underwent a lesser $6.5 million rehab project which included replacing the movable roadway floor system, sidewalk decks, lateral bracing, and handrails. Like the other bridge, bicycle lanes were added as well as architectural handrails and new guardrails between the pedestrian walkways and the travel lanes.
The commissioner of the CDOT, Gabe Klein, visited the new "tied arch" bridge Friday, and made a statement about how projects like these can effect Chicago's economy positively.
"Chicago cannot build and maintain a 21st century economy on 20th century infrastructure," he explained. "These vital investments in our infrastructure will spur economic development on Goose Island and improve the quality of life in the Near North Side for decades to come."
The two projects were funded by grants from the Federal Highway Administration and the Tax Increment Financing program.