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Pedestrian Bridge Planned For Pratt Boulevard Over North Shore Channel In West Ridge

The bridge would connect a Pratt Boulevard bike route from the lakefront to a popular trail in Lincolnwood.

The proposed bridge would span the North Shore Channel at Pratt Boulevard, creating the only path over the water between Devon and Touhy avenues.
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WEST RIDGE — A pedestrian bridge is being planned for Pratt Boulevard over the North Shore Channel, connecting West Ridge to Lincolnwood for those on foot or bicycle.

The Village of Lincolnwood is taking the lead on the pedestrian bridge, which would span the North Shore Channel and make for a continuous bike path between the lakefront and the popular pedestrian paths in the suburbs.

Plans call for a 16-foot-wide pedestrian bridge that would connect to Pratt Boulevard on both sides of the channel and to the existing recreation path on the Lincolnwood side of the channel. At that width, the bridge would be able to be accessed by emergency vehicles, according to a Village of Lincolnwood presentation on the project.

The design scope of the proposed Pratt Boulevard pedestrian Bridge. [Courtesy Village of Lincolnwood]

Lincolnwood received a $70,000 grant from Cook County this summer for preliminary engineering of the bridge. The project is in its “earliest planning stages,” said Ald. Debra Silverstein (50th).

Silverstein said West Ridge neighbors have asked for a pedestrian bridge over the channel at Pratt Boulevard.

“I think it would be a tremendous benefit to our neighborhood and to Lincolnwood,” Silverstein said in an email to constituents. “I am fully in support of the project.”

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There are dedicated bike lanes on the stretch of Pratt east of the channel. Last year, Lincolnwood installed shared bike lanes on Pratt from the channel to the Union Pacific path, which runs between Devon and Touhy avenues.

Lincolnwood also plans to add bike lanes to Pratt from the Union Pacific west to Cicero Avenue, according to village documents. Work on that project is slated to begin this year.

It is not clear when work could start on the bridge project.

The Cook County grant will help pay for preliminary design of the bridge. Design plans for the bridge will need approval of the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers and would require a lease agreement with the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, which owns the North Shore Channel, according to the Village of Lincolnwood.

In May 2020, a pedestrian and bicycle bridge over the North Shore Channel opened just south of Devon Avenue.

Credit: Shamus Toomey/Block Club Chicago
The bridge over the North Shore Channel.

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