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Navy Pier Bike Path Project Still Unfinished

CHICAGO (CBS)—A $60 million facelift that was supposed to provide a smoother connection for bikers and pedestrians near Navy Pier is still incomplete, four years after Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's office began construction.

The project known as the Navy Pier Flyover is a half-finished bridge made up of two unconnected sections between the north and south sides of the bike path.

When the city announced the project in 2014, it was slated to open by 2017.

But people enjoying the outdoors near Navy Pier are still dodging traffic and sharing narrow sidewalks when traveling between the north and south sides of the pier.

Signs warning of detours and construction zones still dot the area.

Chicagoan Bernard Green is an avid cyclist who admits biking around Navy Pier is an inconvenience.

Navy Pier Flyover
Construction crews officially broke ground on the second phase of the Navy Pier Flyover on Nov. 15, 2017. (Credit: CBS)

"We're talking about a game-changer right there," Green said. "You gotta dip and dodge—you gotta be a skillful biker."

After staging a press conference to announce the project in March 2014, Emanuel returned to the site with a shovel in hand last year, touting the second phase of construction.

Yet, at the height of Chicago's 2018 summer season when people are flocking to Navy Pier, the path is still unfinished.

Spiders and other bugs clinging to the bright lights of the underpass at Grand Avenue were the only signs of life there on Wednesday.

Complaints about the unfinished trail have flooded the Active Transportation Alliance, a group that works to reduce the number of cars on the road.

Kyle Whitehead, representative for Active Transportation Alliance, said the city has provided many excuses for the delay, including structural issues with the bridge.

"We think this should be a higher priority for elected officials," Whitehead said. "This is a big safety priority."

The delay doesn't come as a surprise to Green, who nonchalantly cruised down the skinny sidewalk on his way through Navy Pier on Wednesday.

"That's ridiculous, but that's the city of Chicago," he said.

CBS 2 is waiting for the city to answer more questions about the cause of the delay, but says the path will finally wrap up next year.







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