DOWNTOWN — Construction on the Chicago Riverwalk will require three bridges to be raised throughout the spring and summer, city officials said.
The southern leaf of the bridges — at Clark, State and Dearborn streets — will be raised starting sometime in mid-April, though city officials have yet to determine a precise date. The bridges will be lifted one at a time for about a week each, and several weeks apart in order to install the foundations of underbridge walkways, said Pete Scales, a city Transportation Department spokesman.
The work is part of a $43 million project to extend the riverwalk six blocks, from State Street west to Lake Street along Wacker Drive.
Each block of the project will have a different theme: The Marina (between State and Dearborn streets); The Cove (between Dearborn and Clark streets); The River Theater (between Clark and LaSalle streets); The Swimming Hole (between LaSalle and Wells streets); The Jetty (Wells to Franklin streets); and The Boardwalk (between Franklin and Lake streets).
Mayor Rahm Emanuel has called the riverwalk Chicago's "second shoreline," and hopes adding restaurants, retail space, boat docks, bike and kayak rentals and even a swimming hole will elevate the profile of the Downtown attraction.
The plans for the riverwalk extension were first announced in October.
Scales said the raising of the bridges will require detours of pedestrian and vehicle traffic. The city will announce detour routes before each bridge is closed.