2 votes

Lincoln Park Passerelle


View looking west from Oak Street Beach towards N Lake Shore Drive.

Photo taken by Joe Herrington in July 2008


BH Photo #133618

Street View 


Chicago blizzard 2011 closes Lake Shore Drive HD

View from Lincoln Park Passerelle of the disaster, includes many views of the bridge itself.

Lake Shore Drive in Chicago turns into a car graveyard the day after a massive blizzard brought 20+ inches of snow and 60+ mph winds. Motorists were stranded when the storm hit in the early evening of February 1, 2011. After some were stuck for hours, they abandoned their cars for safety. This was unreal, like a scene from a movie!

YouTube user brecht727

Play video


Attractive pedestrian arch bridge over US 41 Lake Shore Drive in Lincoln Park, has been a local landmark. Heavily used by pedestrians to reach North Avenue Beach. Looks more modern than its 1940 construction date. Noted as a very early welded bridge. This bridge's strength is periodically tested when crowds gather on it to watch lakefront fireworks or the Chicago Air & Water Show.

(From HAER) This pedestrian bridge, or passerelle, is the only one spanning North Lake Shore Drive, a major commuter route through Chicago's Lincoln Park. The strikingly modern welded steel arch with concrete approaches was constructed with U.S. Works Progress Administration sponsorship, unusual because the WPA is better known for bridges designed in a rustic mode and built with manual labor. The Lincoln Park passerelle gained national recognition in the Museum of Modern Art's exhibition, "Built in USA, 1932-44," and is also listed in the National Register of Historic Places.


Through arch bridge over N Lake Shore Dr in Chicago
Chicago, Cook County, Illinois
Open to pedestrians
Future prospects
Does not meet ADA. City wants to demolish and replace.
Built 1940; reinforcing cross-bracing added 1991; deck replaced 2016.
- American Bridge Co. of New York
- C.J. Kelly (Structural Engineer)
- M.J. Glicken (Architectural Designer, Chicago Park District)
- Ryerson Co. of Chicago, Illinois
Steel through arch
Listed as a contributing resource to the Lincoln Park Historic District
Also called
Menomonee Street Passerelle
Approximate latitude, longitude
+41.91534, -87.62754   (decimal degrees)
41°54'55" N, 87°37'39" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
16/447960/4640566 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Chicago Loop
Inventory number
BH 39925 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • January 31, 2019: Updated by Roger Deschner: Video added; this brdge is NR-contributing, not NR-listed
  • February 22, 2015: Updated by Roger Deschner: Import HAER photos, description
  • February 26, 2014: Updated by Roger Deschner: Add build date, description, other details
  • October 8, 2013: New Street View added by J.P.
  • February 17, 2009: Added by Joe Herrington



Lincoln Park Passerelle
Posted December 28, 2016, by Roger Deschner (rogerdeschner [at] gmail [dot] com)

Deck completely replaced in 2016. If the city spent that much on rehabilitation, this iconic bridge probably won't be demolished and replaced anytime soon. We can hope.

Lincoln Park Passerelle
Posted May 22, 2015, by Roger Deschner (rogerdeschner [at] gmail [dot] com)

A photo of this great-looking, historic bridge is featured as the background picture for Bike The Drive, when Lake Shore Drive is closed to cars and opened to bicycles for a Sunday morning. It is regarded as an iconic bridge by Chicagoans, making the prospect of losing it controversial. http://www.bikethedrive.org/

Lincoln Park Passerelle
Posted February 27, 2014, by Anonymous the Athenian (anonymous [at] athens [dot] net)

Do not mistake it for a MOB

Even if you are a bridge snob

The thumbnail is quite misleading

To preserve the bridge we are pleading

For this bridge is not a MOB

Lincoln Park Passerelle
Posted February 26, 2014, by Roger Deschner (rogerdeschner [at] gmail [dot] com)

This attractive pedestrian bridge is now endangered, if not doomed, because it does not comply with ADA.

Oak Street Beach Footbridge
Posted August 31, 2012, by Greg Valent (gjvalent [at] ameritech [dot] net)

I believe you have received incorrect information. The bridge described and shown in the photo is not the 'Oak Street Beach Footbridge'. Oak Street Beach is accessed by pedestrian tunnels underneath Lake Shore, (formerly Outer), Drive. The bridge pictured, also known as The Passerelle, allows pedestrian access to North Avenue Beach, over one half mile north of Oak Street Beach. North Avenue Beach is also accessible by pedestrian and traffic tunnels.

Oak Street Beach Footbridge
Posted January 20, 2012, by Anonymous

There is a flex joint in the middle of the bridge. Pin connected, I believe. During the 1976 Lake Front Bi-Centenial fireworks display, I've seen that joint maxed out from the weight of shoulder to shoulder crowds on it. The two sides of the beams were touching each other. It was bending in the middle that much. Looked scary to me. But that was all those years ago and it's still standing. Must be a very tough bridge.