The Chicago Department of Transportation has broken ground on the Oakwood Boulevard Bridge reconstruction project in Bronzeville.
Lorig Construction Co. is the prime contractor for $15-million project. The renovated bridge will provide important access for the community to Lake Shore Drive and the Oakwood/41st Str. Beach, according to a statement from the Chicago Mayor’s Office.
The existing Oakwood Boulevard Bridge was built in 1931 and is in deteriorated condition. The replacement structure will maintain the existing bridge’s historic architectural style while providing modern lighting and drainage and meet modern ADA standards.
The reconstruction project also includes an innovative federally authorized local labor pilot program that requires the contractor to meet a goal of employing at least 20 percent of the tradesmen on the project from the nearby area.
Just two blocks south of Oakwood, the city’s Department of Transportation is constructing a new pedestrian and bike bridge at 41st St. over South Lake Shore Drive. A second bike and pedestrian bridge that will replace the outdated span at 43rd St. is expected to be advertised for bids later this year. A project to reconstruct the vehicular bridge at 31st St. is expected to start before the end of the year.
The reconstruction project is expected to be completed in early 2019.