Prior to this summer’s planned demolition and replacement of the bridge at Division Street over the Chicago River North Branch Canal, heavy trucks and buses will be detoured around the structure to prevent further deterioration of the century-old bridge.
Beginning on the morning of Friday, April 11th, trucks will be detoured south around the bridge to Chicago Avenue via Ashland Avenue and Halsted Street. Eastbound trucks exiting the Kennedy Expressway may use an alternative route to Halsted via North Branch Street.
The Chicago Transit Authority Division Bus Route #70, will detour around the bridge via Halsted, North Branch and Cherry Street. The #132 Goose Island route, which only operates during the morning and evening weekday rush periods, will also detour around the bridge using the same routing.
The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) is restricting vehicles that weigh more than five tons from using the bridge due to the potential for vibrations from these trucks and buses leading to further deterioration of the bridge before it can be replaced.
Built in 1903, the double-leaf bascule movable bridge is nearing the end of its useful life and is in need of a full replacement. CDOT plans to close the bridge to all traffic later this spring in order to demolish the structure and replace it with a fixed-span interim bridge until a permanent bascule one is constructed.
The bridge remains safe for lighter vehicles and pedestrians to cross. Auto, bicycle and pedestrian traffic will be allowed to use the bridge until demolition begins in early June. CDOT has been working with the businesses in the area to inform them of the detour routes and construction.
“This historic bridge has been in service for more than a century as a key transportation link across Goose Island for cars, trains, bikes and pedestrians,” said CDOT Commissioner Rebekah Scheinfeld. “But it is nearing the end of its useful life, and is in need of a complete reconstruction.”
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