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Chicagoans explore the newest phase of downtown’s expanded riverwalk

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The third and final phase of the Chicago Riverwalk opened Saturday

The Cubs’ win over the LA Dodgers wasn’t the only cause for celebration this weekend as thousands of Windy City-dwellers took advantage of the warm autumn weather to check out the third and final phase of the Chicago Riverwalk. Situated along the southern edge of the Chicago River’s main branch, the popular downtown attraction opened up three new block-long segments or "rooms" on Saturday—extending its reach westward to Lake Street.

While some aspects of the project such as the colored fountains of the "Water Plaza" and the floating planters of the "Jetty" look great, other portions are still a work in progress—most notably the sparsely landscaped and unfinished looking "Riverbank" (previously "Boardwalk") stretch between Lake and Franklin/Orleans. That said, downtown has added a promising new amenity offering a continuous, uninterrupted 1.3-mile pedestrian link between the lakefront and the confluence of the river's three branches.

The Chicago Riverwalk’s third phase has been under construction since the summer of 2015. The project was designed by Chicago’s Ross Barney Architects and Massachusetts-based Sasaki Associates and has played a vital early role in Mayor Emanuel’s ambitious plan to transform the river into the city’s next great recreational space.

Love the new colors & the warm night. End of perfect weekend! #chicagoriverwalk #choosechicago #nkchicagoway

A photo posted by Chicago Way (@nancykalch) on

#chicagoriverwalk, #rahmemanuel

A photo posted by Harley Stavis (@harleystavis) on

Dance party at Chicago riverwalk phase 3 opening. #rossbarneyarchitects #chicagoriverwalk #urbanspace #dance

A video posted by Ross Barney Architects (@r_barc) on