“The historical Lake Street Bridge will be getting a much-needed overhaul next year.
“Build in 1916, the bridge is one of three double-decker bascule bridges in the Loop, serving cars, pedestrians and elevated trains. The bridge has undergone several repairs in the last five years, but now it’s time for a full rehab, officials said.
“The bridge is over 100 years old, so it needs some loving,’ said Luis Benitez, chief bridge engineer for the city.
“The project will include a complete replacement of the bridge over the Chicago River and rehabilitation of its mechanical/electrical systems, substructure and the bridge houses, according to the Chicago Department of Transportation.
“CDOT is currently responsible for more than 300 bridge and viaduct structures, including 37 operable movable bridges along the Chicago and Calumet Rivers. All of these bridges are maintained by the department through its Capital Bridge and Bridge Maintenance Programs.
“The last comparable bridge project of this size was the Wells Street Bridge reconstruction project, which was completed in 2013.
“The Lake Street Bridge project has been about two and a half years in the making, requiring the coordination between several city, state and federal agencies to determine what needed a complete replacement and what could be rehabilitated.
“It’s been taken care of carefully for 107 years … now it’s at the time when its increased life span is a major rehab. One of the neat things will be the historic aspect and being able to restore it,’ said Mike Eichten, vice president of AECOM, the consulting firm on the project.
“When finished, Eichten said the bridge will include features that existed in the 1960s, such as designs atop the bridge houses, that have since disappeared. (Mercado, Block Club Chicago, 8/14/23)
Preservation Chicago recently suggested for Chicago Landmark Designation the Lake Street Bridge along with 25 Chicago River Bridges to facilitate their preservation-oriented renovation. This designation would also include the bridge tender houses which have suffered from decades of neglect.
Lake Street Bridge To Get Major Overhaul In 2024; The project is estimated to take two years and will include staged closures of roads and public transit in the Loop, Melody Mercado, Block Club Chicago, 8/14/23