By Vince Gerasole


CHICAGO (CBS) — It took less time to build the Golden Gate Bridge than to build the Navy Pier Flyover – whose completion date for the end of the year will be missed again.

CBS 2’s Vince Gerasole reported on Thursday visited some parts of the trail that are still under construction – in hopes of finding out what’s taking so long.

The first part of the Navy Pier Flyover to open is on the north side of Lake Point Tower. Gerasole rode a bicycle along that stretch on Thursday.

But over and over, the $64 million Navy Pier flyover made headlines following the March 2014 announcement.

The second-phase groundbreakings came more than three years later in the fall of 2017.

“This will stand for us the test of time,” then-Mayor Rahm Emanuel said at the time.

A completion date wasn’t quite complete in December of last year.

“Truly good ideas never really die,” said Ald. Brian Hopkins (2nd).

But when repairs to the Lake Shore Drive Bridge over the Chicago River stretched on, so did the project. The piece of the flyover across the river was supposed to be done by the end of this year, and that was what was forecast in December 2018.

That has turned out not to be correct either. Continued bridge work is now stretching completion again – to late spring of next year.

Such as it is now, bicyclists and pedestrians have to squeeze into a construction area.

The flyover running along Lake Shore Drive was meant to improve safety and reduce dangerous congestions where cars, pedestrians, and cyclists crowd together.

“We’re talking about huge volumes of traffic, and we’re talking about putting people at risk,” said Kyle Whitehead, a bicycle advocate for the Active Transportation Alliance. “I feel like we’ve done this exact interview before, Vince.”

They have. Gerasole talked with Whitehead in the summer of 2018, at which point he said of the flyover, “It’s disappointing that it’s taking this long.”

With the current unfinished setup, bicyclists first have to go around a sharp curve, and then come dangerously close to the highway. The city says the construction that has created that situation will be done soon.

But this is now the fourth extended completion date for the flyover.

Vince Gerasole