CHICAGO - After years of construction, the Navy Pier Flyover is finished.
The $64 million project has taken years to complete, but biking enthusiasts say it will save lives.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held Monday with Mayor Lori Lightfoot, city transportation officials and members of Chicago's biking community.
"The flyover provides ample space for walkers, runners and bikers to safely co-exist along the lakefront. Critically important," Lightfoot said.
Planning for the flyover actually started under the Mayor Richard M. Daley administration and it's been built out in three phases.
Now that it's fully open, the flyover gives bike riders, runners and pedestrians a continuous, unbroken trail along Chicago's lakefront, spanning 18 miles from 71st Street on the South Side to Hollywood Avenue on the North Side.
The main feature of the flyover is it soars above Grand Avenue and Illinois Street, instead of forcing bikers to battle Navy Pier crowds and cars at street level, which they say was a recipe for disaster.
"An incredible glut of traffic at these locations and a lot of crashes and near misses, hundreds," said 42nd Ward alderman Brendan Reilly.
The raised portion of the flyover opened back in 2018 but the completion of the newest portion over the Chicago River has brought the project to a conclusion.