Chicago, well known for elevated trains, broke ground last week on the new 312 RiverRun elevated pedestrian path, part of a network of running paths that wind through the city.
The 312 RiverRun will connect the surrounding neighborhoods of Irving Park, North Center, Avondale and Albany Park to three parks with one path for nearly two consecutive miles.
“A new century for Chicago requires a new plan for Chicago’s Parks, one that draws on the inspiration of Daniel Burnham to use our river and lake to better connect communities and enhance residents’ quality of life,” Mayor Emanuel said. “The 312 RiverRun will create an unparalleled network of outdoor recreational opportunities for residents while boosting neighborhood vibrancy and economic growth.”
312 RiverRun will connect Horner Park to the north to California and Clark Parks to the south. It will extend across 95 acres with facilities and programming for every athletic activity supported by the Chicago Park District including: softball fields, wheelchair accessible baseball fields, fitness centers, playgrounds, an indoor ice skating rink, tennis courts, the mountain bike/Bmx trail, an outdoor pool, boat houses and more.
“Investing in bike and pedestrian paths are an essential part of making our communities greener and healthier,” U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) said. “The Riverview Bridge will connect vibrant neighborhoods and give residents across the city safe and convenient access to some of Chicago’s world class parks and recreational opportunities. This project is a great example of what can happen when local, state, and federal officials work together to improve transportation infrastructure.”
The project kicked off with the groundbreaking of the Riverview Bridge, which will cross over the North Branch of the Chicago River and under the Addison road bridge. The new bridge will provide a new connection for runners, bicyclists and pedestrians between the paths in Clark Park to the south and California Park to the north.
Reaching more than 1,000 feet long and 16 feet wide, the new Riverview Bridge will be the longest pedestrian river bridge in the city. It will have an elevation of more than 18 feet to accommodate recreational use by boaters. Its unobstructed access will also eliminate the need for residents to cross major streets, enhancing pedestrian safety.
The Riverview Bridge design team was led by Epstein Global, a Chicago engineering firm that has designed the redevelopment of Midway Airport, as well as the south and west expansions of McCormick Place Convention Center. The project will be constructed by Illinois Constructors Corp. The Riverview Bridge is anticipated to be complete by the end of 2018.