Steel Shots: Flying Over

Photos: Courtesy of Navy Pier Flyover Construction Management Team 

A massive steel spine is curving through downtown Chicago, which will support the Navy Pier Flyover, an elevated pedestrian path that will extend from south of the Chicago River Bridge to Jane Addams Park just west of Navy Pier. The 16-ft-wide flyover will provide grade separation at Illinois Street and Grand Avenue for the city’s Lakefront Trail, which will reduce crossing conflicts betweenv the multi-use path users and motorists going to and from the Navy Pier area.

The structure’s steel spine will achieve a smooth and complex horizontal and vertical alignment necessary to clear the existing Lake Shore Drive off-ramp, as well as area structures. The project uses about 500 tons of structural steel, which is being fabricated by Hillsdale Fabricators, St. Louis (an AISC Member/Certified fabricator).

For the past several months, workers have been setting and welding the structural steel connections and installing the ribs onto the spine sections. Construction will be done in three overlapping phases, with the first phase between Jane Addams Park and Ogden Slip; the second between the slip and the river; and the third phase improving the path over the Chicago River Bridge. The entire $60 million project will be completed in 2018.

For more on the project, visit