CDOT Joins Aldermen Hopkins at Groundbreaking for Webster Avenue Bridge Rehabilitation Project

August 12, 2021

Webster Bridge Work is one of 43 Bridge Projects Funded through Mayor Lightfoot’s Chicago Works Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Plan

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CDOT Joins Aldermen Hopkins at Groundbreaking for Webster Avenue Bridge

CHICAGO –Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) Commissioner Gia Biagi today joined 2nd Ward Aldermen Brian Hopkins at the groundbreaking for a major rehabilitation project for the Webster Avenue Bridge over the North Branch of the Chicago River. The $25 million project is funded through Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot’s Chicago Works infrastructure and jobs plan, which provides funding to replace or fully rehabilitate 43 bridges over the next five years. 


“Chicago’s River bridges are a critical link in our transportation system and the key to the City’s role as a transportation and logistics hub for the region,” said Commissioner Biagi. “The Webster Avenue Bridge Rehabilitation Project is a great example of how we are investing in the system and modernizing it for the long term under Mayor Lightfoot’s Chicago Works capital investment program.” 


The Webster Avenue Bridge project is one of several bridge rehabilitation and repair projects that CDOT is undertaking this year. Other bridges with major repair or reconstruction work include the Indiana Avenue Bridge over the Little Calumet River, the 31st Street Bridge over the Metra/CN Railroad tracks, the 92nd Street Bridge over the Calumet River, the Harrison Street Viaduct over Union Station, the Grand Avenue Bascule Bridge over the North Branch, the South Water Street Viaduct, and the Irving Park Road Bridge over the North Branch. 


The 105-year-old Webster Avenue Bridge is a classic example of Chicago style double-leaf trunnion bridges with pony trusses that were built by the City in the first two decades of the 20th Century. Although it was operated as a movable bridge for decades, it has not been opened for the passage of vessels since the 1960’s. It is eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places. The last major rehabilitation project of the Webster Bridge was in 1967, with limited maintenance performed more recently in 2015. The new project will involve the comprehensive rehabilitation of the structure. 


The project will include the following work: 


  • Replacement of the bridge deck, to be partially filled with concrete that will improve the riding surface for people on bikes, and replacement of various structural beams, trusses, and bracings. 
  • Signal timing improvements at Ashland Avenue. 
  • Lighting improvements throughout the project limits. 
  • Rehabilitation of historic elements, including the bridge house structures. 
  • Improvements to crosswalks, curb ramps and sidewalks for ADA compliance. 
  • Improved pavement markings for shared traffic and bicycle lanes. 



“I am pleased to see the Webster Avenue Bridge, a member of the greatest collection of historic bascule bridges, begin its renovations,” said Alderman Hopkins. “The Chicago Department of Transportation's commitment to this preservation will assist in the future growth of the area surrounding the river's North Branch.” 


"Our community appreciates all of CDOT's efforts as they make these improvements to the Webster Avenue Bridge,” said 32nd Ward Alderman Scott Waguespack, whose ward is on the west side of the Bridge. “These infrastructure investments will increase connectivity, improve safety, and maintain a multi-modal transportation network that works better for residents and businesses throughout the area." 


The project is expected to take nine months to complete and requires the full closure to vehicle traffic of Webster Avenue between Ashland Avenue and Dominick Street. One sidewalk will remain open at all times for people on foot and people walking bikes.  


The detour for westbound cars is via Clybourn Avenue to Ashland Avenue and back to Webster; the westbound detour for trucks is via Halsted Avenue to Fullerton Avenue back to Ashland Avenue and back to Webster.  


The detour for eastbound cars is via Ashland to Clybourn and back to Webster; the detour for eastbound trucks is via Ashland to Fullerton to Halsted back to Webster. 

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