Some big changes are on tap for a quarter-mile stretch of lakefront near Fullerton Avenue. At last night's community meeting, officials from CDOT, the Chicago Park District, and the Army Corps of Engineers were on hand to unveil the Fullerton Shoreline Redevelopment Project. The plan, part of a larger effort by the three agencies to restore 9.2 miles of city shoreline, was developed to protect Lake Shore Drive, Fullerton Avenue, and the historic Theatre on the Lake from erosion and flooding hazards. It calls for the installation of 1,700 feet of new revetment that will connect to the existing stepped revetment just north of the Theatre on the Lake. The revetment, wheelchair-accessible, will gradually narrow from a width of 60 feet to 28 feet as it curves southward, ending its journey at the northernmost jetty.
The most exciting element of the plan: the replacement of a failed beach cell just south of Fullerton with 5.8-acres of new parkland (pictured above). Reused limestone boulders will placed at the southern tip of the park, which will feature a historic sculpture that once stood outside the Theatre on the Lake. Coursing through the center the park is the bustling Lakefront Trail, repositioned to ease congestion at one the busiest parts of the lakefront, notorious for its biker-pedestrian conflicts. In addition, secondary pedestrian trails will meander through the park, providing a much-needed escape valve from the busy Lakefront Trail. As for the timetable, the project has not yet gone out for bid, but work is expected to start in February 2014, with completion scheduled for December 2015. No word yet on the total cost.