Lakefront Trail Separation Project Continues, Work Begins Between Roosevelt Road And 31st Street

The Lakefront Trail Separation Project expects to be complete by year-end 2018

Mike Krauser
September 12, 2018 - 10:06 am

WBBM Newsradio/Mike Krauser

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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Mayor Emanuel and Chicago Park District CEO Mike Kelly broke ground Wednesday morning on one of the final sections of the 18-mile lakefront trail being divided for those on wheels and those on foot.  

The latest section is between Roosevelt Road and 31st Street, which Kelly noted, "is a key pinch point." 

“Construction on the Lakefront Trail from Roosevelt to 31st is an important next step as we continue to make the lakefront more accessible and enjoyable for walkers, runners and cyclists,” said Mayor Emanuel, in a statement. “Once complete, Chicago’s Lakefront will be even more enjoyable for the thousands of residents and visitors who flock to the path every day.”

The point of the $24-million separation project, half of which is being paid for by Chicago hedge fund billionaire Ken Griffin, is safety. 

Personal Trainer La’Drissa Bonivel said the separation means when she’s zipping along on her bike it’s safer.  

“I have less concern about hitting someone or colliding with someone," she said.

Mayor Emanuel said, "for too long what was supposed to be a time in which you go out for a run or a bike or a stroll, became too stressful because of the congestion." 

He said on a summer weekend as many as 145,000 people can be on the lakefront. 

Bonivel said that can lead to trouble. 

“You can get into some sketchy situations with moms and their strollers and people who really are avid riders and strong runners," she said.

WBBM Newsradio/Mike Krauser

Approximately 9.3 miles of the lakefront trail have been completed, and the remaining stretches from North Ave. to Oak St., Montrose Ave. to Fullerton Ave., Roosevelt to 31st and 55th Street to 71st Street are currently under construction.

“We are excited to announce that we are half-way done with the completion of 18-miles of continuous separate trails for bikers and runners,” said Chicago Park District CEO & Superintendent Michael P. Kelly. “The completion of the stretch from Roosevelt Rd. to 31st Street showcases the significant strides we are making to ensure that all residents enjoy expanded recreational opportunities along the lakefront.”

The latest section is expected to be completed around Thanksgiving.  

The entire 18-mile Lakefront Trail, which runs from Ardmore Avenue on the north to 71st Street on the south, is expected to be complete in by year-end 2018.