43rd Street Pedestrian Bridge

Chicago Department of Transportation | Chicago, IL
Aerial view of the new blue steel tube pedestrian bridge at 43rd Street in Chicago, crossing over multiple train tracks and connecting to the lakefront.

Spanning 1,500 feet and crossing over six busy railroad tracks and the iconic Lake Shore Drive, the existing outdated 43rd Street pedestrian bridge was non-ADA compliant and sorely in need of replacement. The new bridge—a signature structure comprised of visually striking asymmetrical inclined arches—is easily accessible to pedestrians, cyclists, wheelchair users and other people with disabilities.

As Construction Manager, Benesch provided oversight of daily field activities, coordinated with all stakeholders, and managed the project schedule during the demolition of the old bridge and construction of the new structure. The new bridge features a similar curving S-shaped design to a neighboring bridge at 41st Street that opened in 2018. The tube steel needed for the structure was fabricated using a proprietary induction bending process. Pedestrian lighting is completely integrated into the custom curving handrails.

Constructing the bridge over the railroad tracks and highway presented a significant challenge that was further complicated by the need to protect the overhead powered catenary lines of the Metra Electric Line that operates below. To minimize inconvenience to commuters and eliminate several construction constraints, the project team devised a temporary bridge while the replacement was constructed. This approach not only saved substantial time but also mitigated significant project costs that would have otherwise been incurred from extended closures and the deployment of railroad flaggers.

The temporary bridge also served as a protective shield and provided a safer working environment over the Metra Electric Line while reducing the need for disruptive track closures.

Despite additional challenges due to material shortages in the wake of a global pandemic, the project team worked together to successfully deliver the completed bridge on a revised timeline while being mindful of budget constraints. The resulting structure will not only stimulate economic and recreational growth in the area but has improved overall safety and pedestrian mobility for decades to come.

Practice Areas


  • 2024, National Recognition Award, American Council of Engineering Companies
  • 2024, Honor Award, American Council of Engineering Companies of Illinois
  • 2024, Construction Management Project Achievement Award ($25M+), Construction Management Association of America