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First portion of North Branch Trail Extension project nears completion

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Expected to open next month, phase one will extend the existing trail 2.1 miles

A long-discussed extension of the jogging and cycling trail along the north branch of the Chicago River is nearly an important milestone as a stretch of new path between Devon and Forest Glen avenues prepares to open. Under construction since November, this roughly two-mile portion will open on September 21st, representatives from the Cook County Forest Preserve tell DNAinfo.

In the planning phase for the better part of a decade, the project struggled to get going due to escalating budget estimates and funding concerns. As a result, the extension was ultimately broken into two smaller, easier to finance phases. Costing a reported $5.8 million, phase one was funded primarily by federal grants (Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Program) with the Forest Preserve paying approximately 20% of the project’s cost.

More information regarding phase two is expected to be revealed in the coming months. Once completed, the combined three mile trail extension will create an virtually uninterrupted link for cyclists and pedestrians from Chicago’s Lakefront Path to the North Shore’s Chicago Botanic Garden bike path and the Green Bay Trail.