CDOT Announces Cortland Street Bridge Has Reopened To Motor Vehicle Traffic Ten Days Ahead Of Schedule

October 21, 2015

Bridge Had Remained Open to Pedestrians and Bicyclists While Rehab Project was Underway

Mike Claffey    312.744.0707 |

Susan Hofer    312.742.2006 |

The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) announced that it has completed work on a repair project for the Cortland Street Bascule Bridge ten days ahead of schedule. The bridge, which had bike lanes added to it, re-opened to motor vehicular traffic this morning.

“We are very pleased to have completed this project that provided important structural repairs and added bike lanes to the Cortland Street Bascule Bridge, delivering safety improvements for pedestrians, bicyclists and motor vehicle drivers,” CDOT Commissioner Rebekah Scheinfeld said. “The Cortland Street Bridge is an important east-west artery on the near North Side and this project demonstrates the commitment of Mayor Emanuel’s administration to ‘Building a New Chicago,’ and providing 21st Century infrastructure for all of the City’s neighborhoods.”

CDOT’s in-house construction forces carried out the work on the bridge over the North Branch of the Chicago River.   The project, which was scheduled for completion at the beginning of November but finished ten days ahead of schedule, was needed to repair sections of the roadway as well as floor beams, trusses and sidewalks.

The work also included installation of a five-foot wide concrete bike lane along the curb in each direction, and resurfacing the approach on both sides of the bridge.

At least one sidewalk was kept open to pedestrian traffic and bicyclists were allowed to walk their bikes across it during the project.

Although the Cortland Street Bridge no longer functions as a movable bridge, it was the first Chicago Style Fixed Trunnion Bascule Bridge when it was originally built in 1902. The design was developed by City of Chicago engineers in the late 1890s. This model has been copied worldwide since. As the very first bridge of this type, the Cortland Street Bridge is now considered an historical landmark.

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