The city cut the ribbon on the Navy Pier Flyover (Flyover-due?) Monday. It took a *really* long time to build, but you can ride across it in a matter of seconds thanks to the shaky video below. (Fortunately there is no sound; I was huffin’ ‘n’ puffin’. I fully intended to turn around and take a northbound video, but the quads were on fire. I had to get off the Divvy.)
Not everyone was optimistic this project would ever be completed:
Work on the Jane Byrne Interchange continues on the west side of downtown Chicago. Currently, the center lanes of Congress Parkway are a skylight over Clinton, Jefferson, and Desplaines Streets as they’re rebuilt, while supports have been started for the exit ramp that will eventually connect the inbound Dan Ryan to Congress.
And now, random photos:
The pool’s ready.
The exit ramp off the inbound Dan Ryan Expressway.
Wanda Vista Tower isn’t the only construction happening along East Upper Wacker Drive. The roadway itself is getting an upgrade too, as crews extend the dead-end portion of the elevated street that will front the new tower. This is the reason you have to turn around and go back west a tad earlier than you used to. What, you thought you could get to Lake Shore Drive from up here?
Yeah, well that was construction. Let’s talk about demolition for a minute. Because for every reaction, there’s an equal and opposite reaction. Granted, the reaction usually comes first. As in, something is demolished to make room for something new. But in this case, the ramp that used to connect the inbound Dan Ryan Expressway to the outbound Eisenhower Expressway was replaced before it was removed. Which crews are doing now. And for some reason, they’ve chosen to do a great deal of the jack hammering at night. Or should I say, overnight. Not a huge thrill for denizens of the West Loop, South Loop, and the Medical District. Part of that has to do with removing the beams over the expressway lanes at night, when there’s less traffic to be affected by periodic closures. But it’s loud. Really loud.
You’ll note in the photos that follow the presence of caisson equipment, including rebar cages. I can’t wait to see what that’s all for.
From the underside of Congress Parkway, between the Circle and The Loop.
I see your industrial-size jack hammer down there.
Closing the inbound Ryan at Roosevelt in the early morning hours of Feb 2.
A new section of ramp added to the east of the section just added to the west. Or something.
It was a busy weekend for McHugh Construction and the giant red Stevenson crane (we call it “Steve” around here) at the Jane Byrne Flyover. One more section of girders was added west of the Halsted Street bridge, leaving a void only the width of Halsted Street to be spanned. If you’ve got a jumping bus like Sandra Bullock drove in Speed, go ahead and see if you can shoot the gap. Otherwise, you’ll have to wait for one more weekend of work. But don’t forget, there’s no ramp to the ground on the west end of the Flyover yet, either, so check your brakes.
Steve still seems pretty jacked up from the weekend’s excitement.
Ramp and skyline, courtesy of the great city of Chicago.
A new section of the Jane Byrne Flyover takes shape on the west side of the Halsted Street bridge.
Connecting traffic from the inbound Dan Ryan Expressway to the outbound Eisenhower Expressway, the Jane Byrne Flyover has been entertaining scores of bloggers with windows in direct view of the action for months as it curves over top of the Circle Interchange. But lest anyone get complacent, McHugh Construction threw us for a loop (heh) last week.
As we stared out our windows waiting for the next girders (I was told to say “girders” instead of “beams.” I know that may be technically correct, but “Girder me up, Scotty!” and “Girder there, done that” just don’t work) to be placed over top of Halsted Street, there suddenly appeared more beams (old habits) from the west. I like it. Shake things up a little.
So guess what I did? Yep, I went down there and snapped a few shots. Here ya go:
I cannot recommend enough that everyone live where construction is right outside your window. Quiet construction. Relatively un-dusty construction.
Like the Jane Byrne Flyover, for example. Close enough to be mesmerizing, yet far enough away that nary a peep can be heard.
They’re building a new ramp from the inbound Dan Ryan Expressway to the outbound Eisenhower Expressway. As soon as I see equipment amassing inside the Circle Interchange (as it used to be known) I get the coffee hot and the Red Bull cold for optimal night-work spectating. That’s when McHugh Construction lifts the beams into place that form the roadway. Usually. They did some day-time work this time around, as well.
The photos that follow are from two phases of work: One from June 6-8, and just this past weekend, June 17-19.
When the trucks start lining up with beams, you know there’s a show coming to town.
They try to hide from me, but I see ’em.
Bridge supports on either side of the Halsted Street bridge.
Two things to note: Steve, who does all the heavy lifting. And those support pillars lying on the ground.
Here, with Steve’s help, those support pillars are up and ready for beams.
Steve lifts a beam into place on June 7, when this first portion of this round of beams went up.
…and another, this one on the morning of June 8.
Traffic nightmare: The Kennedy ramp to Congress Parkway was closed for the next round of Flyover work.
Traffic goes by to the outbound Dan Ryan as a beam is set on the Congress Parkway ramp.
Then, on June 16, beams are staged on the Kennedy-to-Congress ramp.
Cross bracing is set on the ramp, to be fastened to the beams before they’re lifted into place.
A finished section, and a ramp full of beams for the next section.
More beams are unloaded form semi trailers.
It’s now Saturday evening, June 18, and McHugh Construction crews are preparing to set beams into place.
Gwetting ready to lift the first beam. To the right, the Congress-to-Ryan ramp has been closed.
Here’s the scene.
A second crane is up and ready to go in the “outbound” lane.
Both cranes are ready.
Another look at Steve. He was born to do this.
Bridge crews atop the bridge support, ready to secure the beam once it’s been lifted.
Lift-off, just inches off the ground.
And now almost in place.
Beam #1 is in place, and crews work to secure it.
Here, Beam #2 is almost in place next to the first beam.
Bright and early Sunday morning, the fruits of their labors: six beams all in a row.
A few ground-level views, taken Sunday morning, June 19.
Bridge work and stuffed pizza. What more is there to life?