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Bike Path Over River Now Set For 2018 As Gears Of Bureaucracy Grind Slowly

By Patty Wetli | September 19, 2016 8:50am
 A portion of the Riverview Bridge will soar over the Chicago River between Addison and Irving Park Road.
A portion of the Riverview Bridge will soar over the Chicago River between Addison and Irving Park Road.
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Chicago Department of Transportation

ROSCOE VILLAGE — The Riverview Bridge, a two-mile bike path that will soar over the Chicago River, is inching closer to reality and is now expected to be ready for riders in 2018.

At September's City Council meeting, Mayor Rahm Emanuel introduced an ordinance that would allow the Chicago Department of Transportation to lease land needed for the path's construction from the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District.

A year ago, the Park District and MWRD agreed on a similar lease agreement related to riverfront parcels between Addison Street on the south and Irving Park Road to the north.

Pending council approval of the ordinance, the Riverview Bridge will go out for bid this fall and construction could begin in winter. The path is then expected to be ready for riders by summer 2018.

The Riverview Bridge will run from the east side of the river in Clark Park (3400 N. Rockwell Ave.) to the west side of the river in California Park (3843 N. California Ave.), looming 16 feet above the water as it crosses from one bank to the other.

Additionally, the trail would take advantage of separate projects to extend the riverfront path further north:

An underbridge at Irving Park Road would take the trail through Horner Park to Montrose Avenue.

The Neighborhood Greenway Project, unveiled in June, would use Manor Avenue to connect Horner Park on the south to Ronan Park at Lawrence Avenue on the north.

From Ronan Park, the trail works its way through River Park and Legion Park. An awkward crossing at Peterson Avenue then connects the path with the North Shore Channel Trail into Evanston.

Though CDOT declined to assign a cost to the Riverview Bridge, so as not to influence contractor bids, a 2012 presentation pegged the estimated price tag at $9.5 million. The project is being funded with federal dollars.

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