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Lake Shore Drive Bridge Bike Path

Under Construction

Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL, USA

Page owner: Jameelah Ingram

Project Overview
Project Name: Lake Shore Drive Bridge Bike Path
Location: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Project Status: Under Construction

Project Team

Disciplines That Worked on Project

Civil Engineer: Structural (Bridges)

Project Details
About this project
The Lake Shore Drive Bridge in Chicago was built in 1937. It is a double-deck, double-leaf bascule bridge (aka drawbridge). The bridge sidewalk is very popular with pedestrians and bicyclists. However, the sidewalk was very narrow, so it needed to be widened. One aspect of the project involved widening the existing sidewalk. The design was challenging for several reasons.

For example, the bridge was built in 1937 and was listed on the Historic American Engineering Record. However, increasing the sidewalk width required going through the historic bridge towers.

Also, the sidewalk was being widened on only one side of the bridge. Since bascule bridges rely heavily on balanced weight, this created an engineering challenge.
Who benefits from this project, and how?
The many pedestrians and bicyclists who use the bridge benefit from a wider sidewalk that can accommodate more users.
Environmental considerations
The pedestrians and bicyclists who use the improved sidewalk for commuting create fewer greenhouses gases than commuters in cars and public transportation.
What's unique about this project?
This project was unique because it involved modifying an historic bridge. In addition, by widening the sidewalk on only one side of the bridge, it created a challenge for balancing the loads on the bascule bridge.

Funding & Costs
Funding source: Public

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