18th Bridge to Be Reconstructed

December 5, 2014

Crucial Infrastructure Upgrade is a Key Project for South Loop and Chinatown Neighborhoods

The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) will begin work next week on the reconstruction of the 18th Street Bridge over the Chicago River, a major travel connection to and from the South Loop and Chinatown neighborhoods.

“The 18th Street Bridge is an important piece of our infrastructure, and this reconstruction project will ensure this bridge can continue to serve residents for generations to come,” CDOT Commissioner Rebekah Scheinfeld. “Critical infrastructure upgrades like this must be made to strengthen our communities. A restored bridge will provide improved access to the burgeoning South Loop and Chinatown neighborhoods.”

The 47-year-old movable bascule bridge, which was built in 1967, will be restored with: new roadway and sidewalk decks; repaired truss, floor beams and lateral bracing; and upgraded electrical and navigational lighting. The $5.4 million project is funded through the Chicago tax increment financing (TIF) program, and is part of Building a New Chicago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s infrastructure renewal program.

The construction will require a full closure of the bridge from December 10th through April 1, 2015.

During the construction, all vehicular traffic will be detoured south to cross the river over the Canal Street Bridge and via Cermak Road, Archer Avenue and Clark Street.

All bicycles will be detoured north to cross the river at Roosevelt Road via Canal and Wabash Avenue.

Since Mayor Emanuel took office in May 2011, CDOT has either commenced or completed nearly $650 million worth of bridge construction projects:

  • Halsted Tied-arch Bridge, south of Division: $18 million (October 2010 - May 2011)
  • 130th & Torrence Intersection Reconstruction: $142 million (May 2011 - May 2015)
  • Torrence Lift Bridge: $30 million (December 2011 - December 2012)
  • Halsted Bridge, north of Chicago Avenue: $7 million (January 2012 - May 2012)
  • Fullerton Bridge over the Lincoln Park Lagoon: $12 million (February 2012 - December 2013)
  • Kedzie Bridges over Marquette Park Lagoons: $6 million (March - November 2012)
  • Wells Street Bridge over the Chicago River: $50 million (October 2012 - November 2013)
  • Lake Shore Drive Ramp at Michigan Avenue: $2 million (October - November 2012)
  • North South Wacker Drive and the Congress Parkway Interchange Projects: $330 million (completed December 2012)
  • Kedzie Bridge over the Ship & Sanitary Canal: $5 million (April - November 2013)
  • Ashland over Pershing Viaduct Removal: $13 million (November 2013 – November 2014)
  • 35th Street Pedestrian Bridge: $22 million (construction started Spring 2014)
  • Van Buren Bridge over Chicago River: $2.5 million (May – October 2014)
  • Division Street Bridge, west of Halsted: $6 million (June – September 2014)
  • 18th Street Bascule Bridge: $5.4 million (construction starting December 2014)

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