Construction on the Navy Pier Flyover -- intended to provide a safer route for lakefront trail users -- is set to begin next week, according to city officials.
One of the most congested segments of the lakefront trail is near Navy Pier. The flyover will be a 16-foot-wide overpass protected from Lake Shore Drive.
That means trail users will have more space. Cyclists and runners on the path won't have to wait at traffic lights to cross Grand Avenue or Illinois Street. They'll be able to bypass vehicular traffic entering and leaving Navy Pier.
Mayor Emanuel broke ground on Tuesday at the site of the project which carries a $60 million price tag.
"The Lakefront Trail has grown to become one of the most popular features of our shoreline, and we are taking the first steps in making it more enjoyable, more accessible and safer for future generations," Emanuel said in a news release.
The project, using federal and state funding, will be built in three phases and is expected to be completed in 2018, according to the city's flyover website. The first phase is budgeted at $26.4 million, the release said.
The first phase will go from Jane Addams Park to Ogden Slip. Construction on the first phase is set to begin next week and expected to be completed in December 2015.
The second phase will continue through DuSable Park and the third phase will end at the South side of the Chicago River bridge.
The lakefront trail will be open to users during construction, but there will be detour routes.
Meanwhile, there will be temporary right lane and shoulder closures on northbound Upper Lake Shore Drive for one block between Illinois Street and Grand Avenue beginning Monday and lasting into September, the release said. The off-ramp from Lake Shore Drive to Illinois Street to get to Navy Pier will be down to one lane.
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