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Just a few years ago, the shore of the polluted Chicago River was the last place tourists would want to go for a stroll; now, it’s being hailed as the city’s second waterfront. Beginning in the 1980s, Chicago officials have sought to create a continuous walkway along the river in downtown Chicago. Moveable bridges span the river at every block and can be opened and closed for boat traffic, so riverwalk construction can pose no obstructions to the mechanical systems at the base of each bridge. Extending the riverwalk required the city to build new walkways beneath each bridge, and into the riverway. This plan required the cooperation of many agencies of governement including the US Army Corps of Engineers and the Coast Guard.  

JRA_Chicago Riverwalk State to LaSalle_View from River Edge

JRA_Chicago Riverwalk State to LaSalle_Kayaks The Chicago Riverwalk now creates a continuous parkway extending from Lake Michigan to the confluence of the three branches of the Chicago River with a series of inviting, naturalistic recreation spaces, restaurants, and floating gardens along the south bank of the river. The first three new segments include the Marina (State to Dearborn) provides amenities for boats to dock; the Cove (Dearborn to Clark) is a place for kayaks; and the River Theater (Clark to LaSalle) provides urbanists with seating for river-watching. Three more segments are currently under construction.

Client: Chicago Department of Transportation; Prime Consultant: Sasaki Associates; Architect: Ross Barney Architects; Engineers: Alfred E Benesch

JRA_Chicago Riverwalk State to LaSalle_View to Lake
JRA logo   Jacobs/Ryan Associates Landscape Architects triangle
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