(Chicago, IL) – March 13, 2012. Mayor Rahm Emanuel‘s administration announced today that it was beginning the reconstruction of the Fullerton Parkway Bridge over the Lincoln Park Lagoon and adjacent pedestrian underpass on Monday, March 19, a step that drew praise from an area state lawmaker.
“Key drainage and landscaping enhancements are provided in this design, as well as critical safety and access improvements,” said Chicago Department of Transportation Commissioner Gabe Klein.
The well-traveled Fullerton Parkway Bridge, which was originally built in 1940, needs to be replaced due to advancing deterioration. The $11.6 million project is expected to continue through December, with the landscaping and final improvements to be completed by spring of 2013.
“I’m thrilled by Mayor Emanuel’s announcement that reconstruction of the Fullerton Parkway Bridge begins on Monday,” said State Rep. Sara Feigenholtz (D-Chicago), who represents Chicago’s north side. “This is an important project for the neighborhood and the Mayor deserves a lot credit for pushing it forward.”
The construction work will be staged to maintain one lane of traffic in each direction and one sidewalk along Fullerton at all times. The pedestrian underpass will be closed, and a detour will be posted along the path north and south of the site.
The project will include the following roadway, pedestrian, park improvements:
- Replication of the existing art-deco façade to maintain historic character of Lincoln Park
- Creation of a new 20-foot-wide pedestrian underpass west of the Lagoon
- Installation of stainless steel railings to protect bicyclists and pedestrians
- Elimination of the center pier to enhance rowing activities in the Lagoon
- Routing of pedestrian traffic to the north side of the bridge for improved safety
- Improved drainage for pedestrian underpass to promote use of full width (20’)
- Reconfiguration of paths for ADA compliance to best accommodate all users
- Improved underpass and street lighting
- New traffic signals with synchronized timings east of Cannon Drive
- Fewer points of conflict with pedestrians (reducing accidents)
- Additional approach lane to Lake Shore Drive southbound ramp to alleviate back-up on Fullerton
Several trees will need to be removed as part of the construction project, but a total of 122 new trees will be planted in the area to replace the ones that need to be removed.