Project Owner

Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT)



Services Provided

Phase II Design Services


Chicago, IL

Year of Construction


43rd Street Pedestrian Bridge


HBM Engineering Group, LLC played a crucial role in the structural design of approach structures and stairs for the 43rd Street Pedestrian Bridge project, undertaken in collaboration with AECOM and commissioned by the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT). The bridge is strategically located just south of the 41st Street Pedestrian Bridge, which opened in 2018, and the 35th Street Pedestrian Bridge, which opened in 2016. Before the construction of these bridges, residents of Bronzeville and Kenwood had limited options for accessing the lakefront between 31st Street and 47th Street. This pedestrian bridge project serves to connect the Bronzeville community to the Lakefront, spanning Lake Shore Drive and active railroad tracks. It links the new William Davis Park in Oakland with the Lakefront Trail in Burnham Park and provides access to the Oakwood Beach area.

Key Aspects of the Project:

  1. Pedestrian Bridge Design: The project involved the design and construction of a pedestrian bridge spanning a significant distance and crossing over Lake Shore Drive and active rail lines. The bridge’s primary purpose was to provide a safe and accessible passage for pedestrians and cyclists between the Bronzeville neighborhood and the 43st Street Beach.

  2. Approach Structures: The approach structures included the outer portions of the bridge that traverse the recreational parks on both sides of Lake Shore Drive and the railway tracks. These approach structures were integral to the bridge’s overall design and functionality.

  3. Design Aesthetics: The bridge’s design featured graceful, curving S-shaped structures, enhancing its visual appeal. These inclined arch mono-truss structures created large, sweeping curves that harmonized with the walkways in Burnham Park, contributing to the overall aesthetic of the project.

Project Highlights:

The 43rd Street Pedestrian Bridge project similar to the 41st Street Pedestrian Bridge project was characterized by its remarkable accomplishments and engineering feats. Overcoming the challenge of spanning 1,470 feet over active rail lines, catenary wires, and all eight lanes of Lake Shore Drive was a testament to the project’s innovative design and careful execution.

One of the most striking elements of the project was the bridge’s twisting approaches, forming a giant ‘S’ as it connected the Park Crescent community in Bronzeville to the 41st Street Beach. The inclined, fabricated steel arches that supported the bridge were not only functional but also added an artistic and aesthetic dimension to the project.


HBM’s Scope:

  • Structural Design of Approach Structures and Stairs
  • Finite Element Analysis (FEM)
  • Preparation of Final Plans, Specifications, and Preliminary Scope of Engineering (PSE) Estimate for the bridge.
  • Shop Drawing Reviews
43rd Street Pedestrian Bridge_HBM

Social Impact and Accessibility:

The significance of the project extended beyond engineering achievements. It addressed a critical need for improved accessibility to Chicago’s public parks, especially on the South Side. Prior to this project, many of the existing bridges did not comply with wheelchair accessibility and ADA standards, limiting access for individuals with disabilities.

The 43rd  Street Pedestrian Bridge was designed with inclusivity in mind. It provided a safe and accessible route for residents to access and enjoy the city’s lakefront and other public assets. It contributed to a more vibrant and connected community, enabling residents to fully enjoy the city’s amenities and natural beauty.

43rd Street Pedestrian Bridge project was an important addition to the ongoing efforts to enhance connectivity and accessibility in the Bronzeville neighborhood. HBM's involvement in the project contributed to the creation of a safe, inclusive, and visually appealing bridge that served as a valuable asset for the community.