The existing structure was originally constructed in 1914 and widened in 1951. The new bridge will be constructed within the same footprint as the existing structure. The new bridge will have the same configuration with two lanes of traffic in each direction and sidewalks on both sides. Additional improvements will include retaining wall construction and repair, landscaping improvements, watermain relocation, wider sidewalks, a new protection Wyoming pedestrian rail, and new smart lighting installation.
Also included in the reconstruction of the bridge is a
multi-use path which will provide a space for pedestrian and bike travel under
Irving Park Road along the west bank of the Chicago River. This multi-use path
will link California Park on the south to Horner Park on the north.
Staging to Maintain Traffic
The staging of the construction will be vital to the success
of the project. The bridge will be reconstructed in multiple stages, while
maintaining two lanes of traffic in both directions for the duration of the
In the first stage of construction, traffic is shifted to
the north portion of the bridge while the southern portion is removed and
reconstructed. Once the southern portion is reconstructed, traffic will shift
onto the new structure while the northern portion is removed and reconstructed.
After both the north and south portions are completed, work will begin in the center
with traffic shifted to the outsides. In the final stage, traffic will shift to
the new center and the north and south bridge parapet, sidewalk, railings, and
lighting will be completed. Staging traffic in this manner allows for the
maximum number of lanes to be in service while minimally impacting the flow of
The Irving Park Road Bridge over the North Branch of the
Chicago River is located between California Avenue to the west and Rockwell
Street to the east and the total length of improvements is nearly 900 feet. The
18-month construction project started in March of 2019 and is anticipated to
wrap up in August 2020.