LINCOLN PARK — Chicago is officially bigger.
Those who haven't visited the lakefront at Fullerton Avenue lately might be surprised to see green space where the lake used to be.
The majority of the work on the $31.5 million Fullerton Revetment Project is complete. That means crews have added 5.8 acres of parkland east of the current shoreline at Fullerton Avenue in the area surrounding Theater on the Lake, 2401 N. Lake Shore Drive.
Mike Claffey, a Chicago Department of Transportation spokesman, said the only thing left to is finish landscaping, which includes installing light poles and planting more trees, which should be complete by spring.
Crews have also built a new section of the lakefront trail that separates bikers from pedestrians to ease congestion. The paths are split for 600 feet and then rejoin, creating less traffic around Fullerton Avenue at the theater, which was a bottleneck.
A few brave souls biked and jogged the trail on a recent frigid morning, a few of them stopping to take pictures of the new green space, which was separated by a fence. Claffey could not immediately say when the fence would be taken down.
One piece of the project that has yet to come to fruition is the revamp of Theater on the Lake, which city officials envision as a year-round cultural staple once a transformation is complete. Developers are currently bidding on the property, and applications are due March 31, according to a Chicago Park District spokeswoman.
Officials said the cost of the project was split between the Army Corps of Engineers, the city and the Park District. The project is part of the city's larger effort to reclaim miles of shoreline.
Take a look at the expansion below:
A view of the revetment jutting out into the lake. [All photos DNAinfo/Mina Bloom]
A closer-up look at steps, which are currently blocked off by a construction fence.
More than a dozen new trees dot the green space, which offers a tremendous view of the city skyline.
A jogger on the lakefront trail near the new green space.
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