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Chicago Riverwalk Expansion Project Trials

Chicago River  Barge Sinks - Chicago Lake Condos - Jean Ward

photo courtesy of Red Bull Chicago (

In case you missed all the action downtown on Friday, a barge sunk in the Chicago River near the Randolph Street bridge. The construction barge was being loaded with river sediment when the entire boat started to submerge. No one was injured, but tour cruises were halted while the investigation took place. This delay in the $100 million Riverwalk expansion is not a huge surprise, though, as it has happened before. In July, a carbon copy situation took place with a barge sinking near the LaSalle Street Bridge. It seems as if workers are getting used to dealing with one thing after another, as they have to work in tight quarters, perform the majority of the work from the water, and they have been plagued with unseasonably rainy weather this summer and fall.

No worries, though, as Phase II of the expansion project’s expected completion date is still holding tight for Spring 2015. The extension of the Riverwalk is predicted to add value to Chicagoans and visitors alike, as it will allow walkers uninterrupted access from Ogilvie Station to the lake. An additional draw is the revered recreational space that will enhance the Loop. Commercial development space, to the tune of 100,000 square feet, will be created from the expansion as well.

Chicago Riverwalk Extension Plans - Chicago Lake Condos - Jean WardThe Cove, identified as Dearborn Street to Clark Street, will be designed similar to a beach, sloping toward the water, allowing an easy access for water sports entry, as well as public leisure area and concession space. The Marina Plaza will be denoted by the walkway between the existing Vietnam Veterans Memorial and its new Riverwalk additions to the west. With more concession and public space, as well as retail opportunities, The Plaza will also provide new docking opportunities for recreational boats. Finally The River Theater marked by Clark Street to LaSalle Street, will connect Upper Wacker Drive and the Riverwalk, complete with an ADA compliant ramp, docking for commercial boats, and retreat from the bustling city in the shade of trees planted specifically for refuge.

For more information and live updates on the progress of the expansion, visit Chicago Riverwalk Expansion.

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