Construction crews continue to brave the wintery cold as work on the third and final stage of the Chicago Riverwalk presses ahead. While last Summer saw phase two add three block-long "rooms" to the south edge of the Chicago River's main stem from State Street to LaSalle, phase three will extend the popular downtown waterfront promenade three additional rooms westward. When completed, the Chicago Riverwalk will allow pedestrians to stroll uninterrupted along the water's edge for 1.3 miles between the lakefront and the confluence where the Chicago River diverges into its North and South Branches.
The new section of riverwalk being built between LaSalle and Wells is referred to as The Water Plaza and will include a dedicated play fountain for children, seating for adults, and a retail concession area. Immediately west, between Wells and Franklin, will be The Jetty -- an educational center and garden with a focus on wetlands ecology and native flora. The most westward room, located between Franklin and Lake, will be called The Boardwalk and will feature a gently sloping ramp to link the sidewalk along Upper Wacker Drive to the riverwalk below.
Work on phase three began almost immediately after phase two opened to the public in mid-2015. Since then, crews have been working to drill caissons to support the new segments and drive sheet piles deep into the riverbed to keep the water back. Work is now focused on pouring concrete infill atop the foundation and capping existing piles. Cold weather work is not without its challenges. As low temperatures wreak havoc on pneumatically powered equipment, workers often flambé their jackhammers in order to keep them running property. Phase three of the Chicago Riverwalk is on track for late-2016 completion.
·Construction Begins on Third Phase of Riverwalk Extension [Curbed Chicago]
·Here's How the Riverwalk Extension Will Change Chicago [Curbed Chicago]