Completion of Navy Pier Flyover delayed — again

COVID-19 has impacted workers on the project, now delayed until 2021.

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Thanks to COVID-19, work still isn’t finished on a widened pathway being added to the east side of the Lake Shore Drive Bridge as part of the Navy Pier Flyover.

Thanks to COVID-19, work still isn’t finished on a widened pathway being added to the east side of the Lake Shore Drive Bridge as part of the Navy Pier Flyover.

Chicago Department of Transportation

Again?

Yet another delay has struck the Navy Pier Flyover project, which has been ridiculed for taking longer to complete than the Golden Gate Bridge.

Construction on the Flyover project began in 2014. Originally, it was slated for completion in 2018. That was delayed to mid-2019; then, the end of 2019; then, spring of 2020; then, the end of 2020.

And on Tuesday, the Chicago Department of Transportation told the Sun-Times the project is now expected to be finished sometime in early 2021.

The culprit: COVID-19.

“The on-site workforce has been adversely impacted by the pandemic,” CDOT spokesman Mike Claffey said.

While the Navy Pier Flyover remains incomplete, bicyclists will continue to use a lane of Lower Lake Shore Drive.

While the Navy Pier Flyover remains incomplete, bicyclists will continue to use a lane of Lower Lake Shore Drive.

Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

Work still must be done to complete a widened pathway being added to the east side of the Lake Shore Drive Bridge.

For years, cyclists and pedestrians have crossed the river on a narrow stretch of sidewalk next to busy lanes of traffic on the lower deck of the two-tiered Lake Shore Drive Bridge.

During construction, pedestrians and cyclists will stay on that Lower Lake Shore Drive Bridge, using a lane normally used by cars.

It’s not all bad.

A completed portion of the Flyover has for months carried users over Grand and Illinois streets, a big improvement that eliminated street-level crossings.

Repairs to the Depression-era bridge are taking place alongside work on the Flyover. Some of those fixes were unexpected and contributed to delays in the much-anticipated project.

Delays in the $64 million Flyover led to those comparisons to the Golden Gate, which took four years to complete. Still, frustration and head-scratching over the project may be topped only by irritation with delays in theJane Byrne Interchange project.

That ambitious overhaul of the interchange where the Eisenhower, Kennedy and Dan Ryan expressways come together began in 2013. It was initially slated for completion in 2017 at a cost of $535 million.

Due to a variety of factors, including abandoning an expedited timetable to minimize the impact on daily traffic, projectplanners now estimate it will be finished in late 2022 and cost $794 million.

A closed section of the Navy Pier Flyover, which is still undergoing construction, in the Loop is seen in this photo, Tuesday afternoon, Dec. 22, 2020.

A closed section of the Navy Pier Flyover, which now is not estimated to be complete until early in 2021.

Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

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