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The Nichols Bridgeway is a pedestrian bridge located in Chicago, Illinois. The bridge begins at the Great Lawn of Millennium Park, crosses over Monroe Street and connects to the third floor of the West Pavilion of the Modern Wing, the Art Institute of Chicago's newest wing. The bridge opened May 16, 2009.[1]

Nichols Bridgeway
Nichols Bridgeway 090516.JPG
The Bridgeway after completion in May 2009
Coordinates41°52′50″N 87°37′21″W / 41.880555°N 87.622490°W / 41.880555; -87.622490Coordinates: 41°52′50″N 87°37′21″W / 41.880555°N 87.622490°W / 41.880555; -87.622490
CrossesMonroe Street
LocaleChicago, Illinois
Total length620 feet (189.0 m)
Width15 feet (4.6 m)
DesignerRenzo Piano
Construction startSeptember 20, 2007
OpenedMay 16, 2009
Nichols Bridgeway under construction in May 2008

Designed by Renzo Piano, the architect of the Modern Wing, the bridge is approximately 620 ft (190 m) long and 15 ft (4.6 m) wide. The bottom of the Bridgeway is made of white, painted structural steel, the floor is made of aluminum planking and the 42" tall railings are steel set atop stainless steel mesh. The Bridgeway features anti-slip walkways and heating elements to prevent the formation of ice and meets ADA standards for universal accessibility. The bridge is named after museum donors Alexandra and John Nichols.[2] The bridge design was inspired by the hull of a boat.[3]



McDonald's Cycle CenterBP Pedestrian BridgeBP Pedestrian BridgeColumbus DriveExelon Pavilion NEExelon Pavilion NEExelon Pavilion SEExelon Pavilion SEExelon Pavilion NWExelon Pavilion NWExelon Pavilion SWExelon Pavilion SWHarris TheaterJay Pritzker PavilionLurie GardenNichols BridgewayNichols BridgewayChase Promenade NorthChase Promenade CentralChase Promenade SouthAT&T PlazaBoeing Gallery NorthBoeing Gallery SouthCloud GateWrigley SquareMcCormick Tribune Plaza & Ice RinkCrown FountainMichigan AvenueRandolph Street 
Image map of Millennium Park; east is at the top. Each feature or label is linked.

The Nichols Bridgeway was added to the master plan of the Modern Wing of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2005.[3] Construction on the bridge began on September 20, 2007. Construction was completed on April 8, 2009. The bridge officially opened, along with the Modern Wing on May 16, 2009.[4]

On June 11, 2009, the Structural Engineers Association of Illinois (SEAOI) named the winners of its 2009 excellence in engineering awards. Arup and Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc., received an Award of Merit for their design work for the Nichols Bridgeway.[5]

Pop cultureEdit

In the 2012 romantic comedy, The Vow, the characters run from the Art Institute of Chicago across the Bridgeway to Millennium Park, where they kiss under Cloud Gate.[6]


  1. ^ "New Art Institute Wing". Chad Bailey. 2009-05-07. Retrieved 2009-05-08.
  2. ^ "The Nichols Bridgeway: Fact Sheet" (PDF). The Art Institute of Chicago. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-07-05. Retrieved 2008-05-15.
  3. ^ a b "New Art Institute bridge to shoot over Monroe Street". Chicago Tribune. 2008-03-09. Retrieved 2008-06-05.
  4. ^ "A sidewalk in the sky: The new Nichols Bridgeway joins the Art Institute's Modern Wing and Millennium Park". 2009-05-13. Retrieved 2009-07-01.
  5. ^ "Illinois structural engineers announce winners of 2009 excellence competition". Chicago Tribune. June 11, 2009.
  6. ^ Ebert, Roger (2012-02-08). "The Vow". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2012-08-26.

External linksEdit