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Milwaukee, Leavitt '606' Bridge Piers Gone, Now Fully Suspended (PHOTOS)

By Alisa Hauser | May 5, 2015 9:52am

BUCKTOWN —   Another big step for the massive "606" project has been completed, with the removal of the Milwaukee Avenue bridge's center piers at the border of Wicker Park and Bucktown.

In December, steel suspension arches were installed over the bridge, part of the 2.7-mile long elevated trail that will allow joggers, cyclists, walkers and dogs on leashes to travel to and from Wicker Park, Bucktown, Logan Square and Humboldt Park.

Scheduled to open on June 6, the Bloomingdale Trail will serve as the centerpiece of a larger system with six ground-level parks known as The 606.

On Monday, The 606 posted the news to its Facebook page.

"After raising the bridge and suspending it via the arch and tensioning cables, the center and side piers were able to be removed from the bridge over Milwaukee Avenue. The additional height provides greater clearance for trucks, and the removal of the piers means easier traffic flow for cars and bikes along this busy stretch of road," organizers said.

The next steps are to remove the center pier concrete barriers and to repave the road under the bridge, organizers said.

A rendering of the Milwaukee, Leavitt Bridge [The 606.org]


The bridge's center pier was removed on Monday, allowing more room for cars to pass beneath. [DNAinfo/Alisa Hauser].

Built on a long-defunct railroad line, work on the $95 million project began in fall 2013.  Take a look at the path under construction.

The centerpiece of a larger system that organizers have dubbed ''The 606,'' after the first three numbers of the ZIP code all Chicagoans share, the trail has 12 access points.

When the trail opens, four of the access points will be through ground-level parks: Walsh Park, 1722 N. Ashland Ave.; Churchill Park, 1825 N. Damen Ave.; Julia de Burgos Park, 1805 N. Albany Ave.; and Park 567, 1805 N. Milwaukee Ave.

A fifth park, at 1801 N. Kimball Ave.; and a sixth park, spanning nearly one city block on the site of a former glove factory along Ridgeway Avenue in Humboldt Park, will be completed in a later part of the project.

Opening day festivities will feature performances, art and a community celebration along the trail.

On the night before the trail's opening, an "Above the Rails" gala fundraiser, which requires a ticket purchase ($75-$500), will offer "a magical evening of unexpected surprises alongside this innovative and transformational park and trail system," organizers said. More details here.

Alisa Hauser answers some FAQs about the trail:

What will it look like when it's complete? Here's a preview:

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