Developer Sterling Bay announced plans Monday for a bridge over the Chicago River that is designed to improve traffic flow and access to open space in its future Lincoln Yards development.
The firm said construction on the $35 million bridge will start in mid-2021 and be finished about two years later. Taxpayers will reimburse Sterling Bay for the cost under terms of its redevelopment agreement with the city, provided the bridge meets municipal design standards.
It will cross the river at Dominick Street, which will be extended from Webster to North avenues as part of the $6 billion mixed-use development that is expected to take years to complete. Lincoln Yards work, covering about 50 acres, would revitalize an outmoded industrial district on the North Side but has been controversial because the city has pledged its developer public subsidies of up to $1.3 billion.
Andy Gloor, CEO of Sterling Bay, said the bridge will support the private development and public access to the riverfront. It will be located where The 606 walking and biking trail will be extended into Lincoln Yards.
“The city of Chicago’s reactivation of the riverfront has created new opportunities for economic development, a cleaner environment and outdoor recreation,” Gloor said. “The Dominick Bridge will add to these efforts by creating a new opportunity for cross-community connections at Lincoln Yards, while also creating much-needed jobs for Chicagoans during this challenging time.”
Sterling Bay designated Rosales & Partners, which has completed prominent bridges in Boston, Washington, D.C., and over the Panama Canal, for the Lincoln Yards site. The firm will create “the first roadway steel trussed arch bridge” in Chicago, with no supports needed in the river, the developer said.
The Dominick Bridge will provide a crossing 80 feet wide, enough room for cars, bikers and pedestrians, Sterling Bay said. The developer will connect the bridge to the city’s Riverwalk along the North Branch.
“This new multimodal connection will allow for significant improvement in traffic circulation, cyclist safety and pedestrian access to the east side of the river,” said Ald. Brian Hopkins, whose 2nd Ward includes Lincoln Yards.
Sterling Bay said the construction work will provide 100 jobs and the firm Benesch is the general contractor. It noted the Rosales firm is Latinx-owned and that, with subcontractors, the project will meet city rules for 30% participation by minority-owned firms and 10% by women-owned firms.
In early 2021, Sterling Bay plans to start construction on its first Lincoln Yards building, an eight-story complex for life sciences companies on the project’s southern end at Dominick and Concord Place, which also will be extended.
The redevelopment plan calls for additional bridges later at Armitage Avenue and at Concord Place. Up to 14 million square feet of residential and commercial construction are allowed under the overall zoning agreement, but each project requires separate approvals.