41st and 43rd Street Pedestrian Bridges recognized with 2024 National AIA Honor Award


We are gratified that the 41st and 43rd Street Pedestrian Bridges have been recognized with a 2024 National AIA Honor Award for Regional and Urban Design.

Resulting from the international design competition "Bridging the Drive" held by the city of Chicago in 2004, this project created two signature pedestrian bridges that link the city's Bronzeville neighborhood with the Lake Michigan waterfront. In the early 2000s, then-Mayor Richard M. Daley was impressed by the pedestrian-oriented infrastructure he experienced in Europe and sought to achieve something similar in his city. Due to the complexities related to public infrastructure approvals, elections, and overall funding, it took nearly 15 years to begin construction of the 41st Street Bridge and nearly 20 years before the second bridge was completed.

Before the two bridges were built, residents were forced to travel a half mile to the nearest span, a narrow and corroded footbridge spanning nearby railroad tracks. The new bridges, designed to accommodate pedestrians, cyclists, people with disabilities, and emergency services, link recently redeveloped neighborhoods on the west with a lakefront trail and 41st Street Beach. Both include ramps and stairs on either end, and the design minimizes their footprints in the adjacent parks while still bolstering accessibility.

After completion, the bridges quickly became a popular and convenient way for Bronzeville residents to travel back and forth to the waterfront. They've also proven to be one of the city's most popular destinations, where lakefront promenades, bike paths, and places to gather and socialize await all social and economic groups.

This honor award recognizes the work of the entire team for this project, which included Chicago Department of Transportation as client, Cordogan Clark as Architects and Planners, AECOM as lead civil and structural engineers; and Terry Guen for landscape, and Paschen Construction as the general contractor for both bridges.

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