CHICAGO (WLS) -- Here's some great news for runners and bikers who use Chicago's Lakefront Trail: when they can expect a fully-connected pedestrian bridge.
The finish line is finally in sight for the Navy Pier Flyover Project. The massive endeavor first broke ground more than three years ago.
"A lot (has) been said about the Lakefront Trail's separation. It's been a long time coming," Chicago Park District Superintendent and CEO Michael Kelly said.
The city broke ground Wednesday morning on the second phase of the project, which will start with an 800-ft. section of the pedestrian bridge, connecting the lakefront path above the Chicago River.
"Pedestrians and bicyclists will be able to travel along the Lakefront Trail uninterrupted from Jane Addams Park on the North Side of Grand all the way to the North Side of the river here," Chicago Department of Transportation Commissioner Rebekah Scheinfeld said.
Wednesday morning's rain didn't stop Mayor Rahm Emanuel from checking out the progress. He also gave a timeline for when the separated walking and biking lanes will be ready.
"A year from now, we will have that completed. All 18 miles," the mayor said.
When the Navy Pier Flyover Project is complete, it will be a safer alternative to one of the most heavily-used portions of Chicago's Lakefront Trail. There is still plenty of work to do. Until then, patience is a virtue.
"To all the people, pedestrians and the residents of Chicago, I want to thank them ahead of time for their patience. But this project will get done," Emanuel said.