Chicago Construction News staff writer
The Illinois International Port Calumet River Bridges will be rehabilitated with $144 million in federal funding awarded through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s new Bridge Investment Program.
As part of the bridge rehabilitation, pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure will be upgraded to improve multimodal safety and connectivity. Sidewalk network improvements are planned, including the installation of nearly 3,000 feet of new sidewalk to close gaps on each side of the 100th Street bridge. Additionally, bike lanes will be installed across all of the bridges.
“It is my honor for Chicago to be one of the first grant recipients of the new Bridge Investment Program’s Large Bridge Project Grants,” said Mayor Lori Lightfoot. “These bridges are an important part of our city’s history, and they must be modernized to ensure they can meet the demands of the future.”
Work is planned on four historic bridges: 92nd Street/Ewing Avenue Bridge, 95th Street Bridge, 100th Street Bridge, and 106th Street Bridge. These bridges are critical components of the Illinois International Port, which is an international hub, and the Illinois Waterway, allowing freight access via the waterways between Lake Michigan and the Gulf of Mexico.
Each bridge lifts an average of 5,000 times per year, providing continuous and safe access for marine traffic to and from the Port and surrounding industrial uses. Their rehabilitation is critical to maintaining the industrial road and water traffic supporting our nation’s economy. The bridges carry a combined average of over 40,000 vehicles per day, 3,000 of which are trucks. Freight access along the Illinois Waterway also provides a vital connection to the Port and local industries, supporting economic strength.
“These bridges are vital to connect our communities and support our local economy,” said U.S. Representative Robin Kelly. “Infrastructure like the Calumet River Bridges is the fundamental foundation that makes our communities strong.
“Not only will the maintenance of these bridges preserve jobs, rehabilitation will create jobs in communities that have faced disinvestment historically. I am thrilled that this much-needed funding is being delivered to Illinois so that our local communities can continue to thrive.”