South Lake Shore Drive (US 41) Reconstruction

South Lake Shore Drive (US 41) Reconstruction

CHICAGO, Illinois
United States
South Lake Shore Drive

TYLin was responsible for designing the Burnham Park section of the South Lake Shore Drive (US 41) Reconstruction project in Chicago, Illinois.

Located immediately adjacent to the shore of Lake Michigan, South Lake Shore Drive functions as a major arterial from the south side of Chicago to the downtown area, carrying more than 115,000 vehicles per day. The total reconstruction projected extended from just north of the I-55 interchange to Marquette Drive (67th Street) to the south. The project was completed for the Chicago Department of Transportation.

South Lake Shore Drive functions as both a major transportation route and as a park roadway, passing through historic Burnham and Jackson Parks. The purpose of the project was to provide safer and movement efficient movement through the busy corridor while removing many expressway-type features to make it more consistent with the park setting.  

TYLin’s Burnham Park section extended from 55th Street to the south to 23rd Street to the north. The firm’s design for the section prioritized enhancing the public and civic realm of the lakefront parks and providing a solution that was cost-effective and maintainable. The Phase I study conducted by Illinois Department of Transportation served as the basis for the design. 

The overall proposed scope of improvements included complete pavement replacement of the six- to eight-lane roadway, with moderate vertical and horizontal modifications. Bridge work included reconstructing the existing 31st Street bridge over South Lake Shore Drive, rehabilitating the Oakwood Boulevard bridge, and replacing the existing pedestrian underpass at 55th Street.  

Project Highlights: 

  • TYLin’s design minimized delays to the motoring public during construction. 
  • Roadway safety measures included new “Chicago Wall”-type medians and new roadway pavement marking and signs.  
  • TYLin’s design upgraded the entire drainage system to meet current regulations, including limiting storm water flows to the adjacent lake.  
  • Since Burnham Park section passes through a historic lakefront park, landscaping and architectural features were important design considerations. 
  • TYLin worked with the Mayor’s Advisory Committee on Streetscapes, the Lake Shore Drive Advisory Council, and local aldermen to achieve high-quality aesthetic standards. 


Pride Award, 2006
American Road and Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA)
Honor Award, 2005
American Council of Engineering Companies of Illinois (ACEC-IL)
Excellence Award for Highway Design, 2004
Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)
Project of the Year Award, 2004
American Public Works Association (APWA) Chicago Metro Chapter