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Old Posted Mar 7, 2017, 8:21 PM
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A look at the ambitious plan to bury Chicago’s Lake Shore Drive and create new park space

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Taking inspiration from Daniel Burnham’s 1909 Plan for Chicago, an effort to completely redefine Lake Shore Drive between Ohio Street and North Avenue is still being pushed by a number of Chicagoans.

The long-term idea has been previously championed by 2nd Ward Alderman Brian Hopkins, who spoke again on the proposal this week at a town hall meeting hosted by the Streeterville Organization of Active Residents (SOAR). The city councilman presented renderings of the project drawn last summer by local architecture firm VOA Associates, now part of Canadian-based Stantec.

At its heart, the plan would straighten out and bury Lake Shore Drive’s tight and dangerous Oak Street S-bend and would provide unfettered pedestrian access to 70 acres of newly created lakefront parkland, beaches, trails, and a breakwater island. The improvements would buffer the roadway from the routine abuse dealt by crashing winter waves as well as fix the dysfunctional Chicago Avenue bottleneck by removing traffic signals and adding new interchange ramps.


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