The long-awaited 43rd Street Pedestrian Bridge opened in Kenwood Thursday. Credit: Provided.

KENWOOD — The 43rd Street pedestrian bridge over DuSable Lake Shore Drive has opened, giving South Side residents and visitors another option to access the lakefront.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot, Ald. Sophia King (4th) and other officials marked the occasion with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday. The bridge, which is ADA-accessible, is open for pedestrians and cyclists.

The bridge’s proximity to the Metra Electric and Canadian National Railway tracks will provide a vital link for South Side residents who want to enjoy the lakefront, officials said.

“Whether it’s commuting to their job, school, parks or other cultural destinations, bridges like the one we’re celebrating today are critical to helping residents and visitors move around the city and experience everything our 77 neighborhoods offer,” Lightfoot said in a statement.

The $36 million bridge was paid for with federal and state funding. It boasts inclined arch mono-truss structures supporting large S-curves, similar to the curves of the walkways in Burnham Park.

The 43rd Street Pedestrian Bridge is the fourth of five new or reconstructed bridge projects helmed by city’s Department of Transportation.

City officials — including Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Ald. Sophia King (4th) — celebrated the opening of the 43rd Street pedestrian bridge with a ribboncutting Wednesday. Credit: Provided.

Work to replace the old bridge began in November 2020, with crews demolishing the overpass in June 2021. A playlot near the overpass was also replaced.

The bridge is bright blue and has a curvy design similar to the bridge completed at 41st Street in 2018. Besides giving residents greater access to the lake, it will allow emergency vehicles to cross Lake Shore Drive and the adjacent railroad tracks, city officials said.

Both bridges were designed by global architecture firm AECOM — known for projects like the Fredrick Douglass Memorial Bridge in Washington, D.C., and Seattle’s Century Link Field — in collaboration with Cordogan, Clark & Associates. FH Paschen served as the primary contractor.

“Under Gov. Pritzker’s leadership, we’re investing in infrastructure, improving safety, and enhancing mobility by providing more options for bicyclists and pedestrians at the local level,” Illinois Transportation Secretary Omer Osman said in a statement. “This project will benefit the community, South Side residents and visitors for decades to come.”

A cul-de-sac was installed earlier this year at 43rd Street and Oakenwald Avenue due to concerns from neighbors about speeding and other possible traffic impacts after residents living near the 41st Street bridge made similar complaints in 2021.

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