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Bridge projects & public works upgrades near Salt District

Steve Simmons
February 21, 2022

Recently, North Branch Works convened a virtual meeting which featured the latest updates about major infrastructure projects in our service area.

These include the replacement of two bridges on Division Street, the ongoing rehabilitation of the Webster Avenue Bridge, and plans for the rehabilitation of the Cortland Street Bridge.

Along with the bridge projects, the developer of the Salt District (1357 N. Elston Avenue) spoke about public works upgrades coming to the area in six-to-eight months.

If you missed our meeting or would like to review the highlights, please see the recap that follows.  Also, you can watch a recording by going here.

Replacement of the Division Street Bridges

Soliman Khudeira from the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) provided an update, sharing these major points:

  • The Division Street Project area runs one-mile along Division Street between the I-90 Expressway to Cleveland Avenue.
  • The project includes replacing the bridge over the North Branch of the Chicago River (pictured above) and the one over the North Branch Canal.
  • The plan will widen Division Street by four-to-six feet, add street lighting and landscaping, install a new traffic signal at Hickory Street, and modernize the traffic signals.
  • The new bridges will have two lanes in each direction and new left turn lanes, a shared lane for bicycles and vehicles (see below right), and sidewalks for pedestrians on each side of Division Street.
  • The new bridges will accommodate a future extension of a continuous Chicago River Trail.
  • There will be no detours during construction; temporary bridges will be built to the north of each bridge and accommodate one lane of traffic in each direction.
  • Construction on Division Street is expected to begin during the fourth quarter of 2022 and finish by the fourth quarter of 2024.

Webster Avenue Bridge Rehabilitation Project

Charlene Howell from CDOT spoke about the ongoing rehabilitation of the Webster Avenue Bridge and shared the following information:

  • The Webster Avenue Bridge rehabilitation project includes the bridge and Webster Avenue from Ashland Avenue to Dominick Street and the reconstruction of the bridge houses.
  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)compliant ramps will be added at Ashland and Webster and Dominick and Webster. The project will also improve street lighting and enhance the connection between Lincoln Park and area businesses.
  • The project is 65% complete and expected to be finished by August of 2022.

Cortland Street Bridge Rehabilitation Project

Charlene Howell from CDOT provided an overview of future plans for the Cortland Street Bridge project and shared these points:

  • The rehabilitation project includes the bridge and a short distance on each side of Cortland Street.
  • It’s expected the project will take between nine and twelve months.
  • The earliest construction will begin is the third or fourth quarter of 2022.
  • During construction, the bridge will be closed to vehicle traffic while one of the existing bike lanes and one side of the sidewalk will remain open.
  • Passenger vehicles will be deterred to the Webster Avenue Bridge or to Fullerton and Clybourn; truck traffic will be re-routed to North Avenue.
  • Construction on Cortland Street will not begin until the Webster Avenue Bridge is open.

Public Works Improvements Near the Salt District

Dave Deuter from Blue Star Properties gave an overview of these upcoming projects:

  • The reconstruction of West Blackhawk Street, which is approximately half a block from the Chicago River to Elston Avenue. This project will add new asphalt surfaces, sidewalks, curbs, gutters, drainage, and add lighting.
  • The installation of a three-way traffic signal at Elston Avenue, Blackhawk Street, and Magnolia Avenue.
  • Minor modifications of the Elston Avenue/Division Street intersection. Improvements include installing an eastbound left turn arrow onto West Division from N. Elston Avenue and adding a pedestrian countdown timer at Division and Elston.

In addition to these updates, NBW staff shared that N. Elston Avenue between North Avenue and Division Street will be re-paved sometime during the second quarter of 2022.

North Branch Works would like to thank our presenters for participating and taking questions. We will continue to monitor these projects and provide timely updates.

Stay informed about the latest news and developments in the North Branch by signing up for our e-newsletter.

With questions, please contact Steve Simmons at 773-929-5552 x2226 or

Images courtesy of the Chicago Department of Transportation


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