CHICAGO (CBS) – For the next year to come, it won’t be quite as easy to get from the DePaul Lincoln Park campus to a Greektown restaurant, or from the UIC campus to the clubs of Boystown.
Effective Monday, city crews are shutting down shut down a short, but busy, stretch of Halsted Street as they begin rebuilding the Halsted Street Bridge over the Chicago River North Branch Canal. The bridge connects Goose Island with the Near North Side.
For one year, Halsted Street will be shut down between Division and Hooker streets, and unlike the North Avenue Bridge repair, there will be no temporary bridge erected.
The new bridge will replace the movable bridge built in 1909. It hasn’t been operated in more than 25 years, and the city has decided a movable bridge is no longer needed since this part of the river no longer handles boats with masts.
The $27 million tied-arch bridge will have two lanes of traffic in each direction, up from the current one lane. The bridge also will have bike lanes connecting with existing bike lanes north and south of the bridge. The current bridge provides a tricky crossing for bicyclists.
The project also will resurface Halsted Street between Division and North Branch streets, and add new lighting.
Construction is scheduled to run through December 2011. The bridge will be closed to traffic starting Monday, weather permitting.
For the project, cars and bikes will be detoured east to Larrabee Street via Chicago Avenue and Division Street, avoiding Goose Island altogether. Trucks and buses will be diverted west to Cherry Avenue on Goose Island, via North Branch and Division streets.
Funding for the project comes mainly from the Federal Highway Administration (77 percent), with 18 percent coming from the city and 5 percent from the state of Illinois.
The affected stretch of Halsted Street has already changed dramatically in the past two decades.
For generations, the Ogden Avenue viaduct soared overhead, running alongside Halsted Street for about a block near the Cabrini-Green public housing development, then turning southwest and crossing over the North Branch canal near the bridge now being replaced. After years of deterioration, the viaduct was demolished in 1992.
The Chicago Sun-Times contributed to this report, via the Sun-Times Media Wire