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Bloomingdale Bridge Construction to Close Milwaukee Avenue this Weekend

By  Erica Demarest and Alisa Hauser | March 12, 2014 10:03am | Updated on March 12, 2014 10:10am

 A rendering of the new bridge at Milwaukee and Bloomingdale avenues.
A rendering of the new bridge at Milwaukee and Bloomingdale avenues.
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Chicago Mayor's Office

BUCKTOWN — Crews will begin to reconstruct the bridge at Milwaukee and Bloomingdale avenues this weekend as the city continues work on the Bloomingdale Trail, a 2.7-mile elevated walking, jogging and cycling path that will run through four Chicago neighborhoods.

Traffic on Milwaukee Avenue between Oakley/Moffat avenues and Leavitt Street will be detoured during the work.

All vehicular traffic, including CTA’s Milwaukee Avenue Route No. 56 buses, will be detoured west to Western Avenue via North and Armitage avenues. Pedestrians will be detoured east to Wilmot Avenue, as the viaduct at Winnebago Avenue will be closed for repair, the city announced Wednesday.

Crews will begin work at 8 p.m. Friday, working around the clock to "complete the process as quickly and efficiently as possible," with Milwaukee expected to be re-opened no later than 5 a.m. on Monday, officials said. 

 Photos of the Milwaukee Avenue bridge over the Bloomingdale Trail.
Milwaukee Avenue Bridge
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Last weekend, crews demolished an overpass bridge over Western Avenue — the first of three bridges that will either be removed or reconstructed as part of the Bloomingdale Trail.

But for those expecting a full-scale demolition, organizers of the project are cautioning that the bridge's structure will be staying in place.

"They’ll be pulling the concrete off the bridge deck or floor to make sure the steel underneath is in good shape and repairing it as needed. Then, over the coming months, they’ll be building the deck back out, putting in the arches, and then the last thing will be taking out the piers," said Brie Callahan, a spokeswoman for The Trust for Public Land, which is managing the city's "rails-to-trails" 606 project.

The new bridge at Milwaukee Avenue will use recycled steel from the current structure, which features an arch design. It will become one of the highlights of the Bloomingdale Trail, a spokeswoman for Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

The bridge's reconstruction will also address traffic issues on the busy diagonal street, the mayoral spokeswoman said.

Traffic lanes for cars and bikes become narrower under the current bridge, which often causes bottlenecking and the interruption of a bike lane. This — as well as vertical clearance for trucks — will be addressed by the new bridge, the spokeswoman for the mayor's office said.

Traffic will be detoured on Milwaukee Avenue this weekend during the demolition, according to am electronic sign posted at the Milwaukee, Damen and North avenues intersection in Wicker Park.

The sign notifies motorists that the street will be closed from 5 p.m. Friday through 5 a.m. Monday.

For weekly updates about the project, visit the606.org/category/newsforneighbors/.