107-year-old Lake Street Bridge getting major renovations in 2024

Changes include replacing the bridge over the Chicago River. Traffic will be detoured, and the CTA Green and Pink line trains will be shut down during two, 12-day periods.

SHARE 107-year-old Lake Street Bridge getting major renovations in 2024
The Lake Street Bridge on Aug. 14, 2023.

Lake Street will be closed between Canal Street and Wacker Drive for 18 months as construction crews work on the Lake Street Bridge, including replacing the span and improving mechanical and electrical systems.

Anthony Vazquez/Sun-Times

The Lake Street Bridge will be overhauled next year, including completely replacing the bridge over the south branch of the Chicago River.

Renovations entail rehabilitating the bridge’s mechanical and electrical systems, substructures and bridge houses, according to the Chicago Department of Transportation.

The bridge, built in 1916, carries Chicago Transit Authority trains on the upper level and vehicles and pedestrians on the lower level.

Lake Street will be closed between Canal Street and Wacker Drive for 18 months as construction crews work on the changes. The east and west sections of the Riverwalk Trail will also be affected.

The entire project is expected to take about two years to complete, and a specific timeline will be established once a contractor is selected, according to CDOT.

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A map of the pedestrian detour plan during the 18-month overhaul of the Lake Street Bridge.

Chicago Department of Transportation

To cross the river, pedestrians will be rerouted along Randolph Street. Cars going east will cross the river on Washington Street and west on Madison Street.

CTA Green and Pink line trains will be shut down during two, 12-day periods. About six months into the road closures, construction crews will remove the western half of the bridge over the river and float in and install the new section, which will take 12 days to complete. Six months after, they’ll do the same to the eastern part of the bridge, according to CDOT.

Bus service will be provided between the Clinton Street station and Clark and Lake streets station while the train lines are closed. CTA bus route No. 125 will be rerouted east on Washington Street and north on Wacker Drive. The bus stop at Canal and Randolph streets will be temporarily closed during the construction.

Access to all adjacent buildings, parking garages and loading docks will remain open throughout the project for both pedestrians and vehicles.

The Lake Street Bridge is one of 37 movable bridges along the Chicago and Calumet rivers maintained by CDOT. The department manages over 300 bridges and viaduct structures.

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A map of the vehicle detour plan during the 18-month overhaul of the Lake Street Bridge.

Chicago Department of Transportation

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