The popular Chicago trail that runs along the lake will be enhanced this summer, according to a statement issued by Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office Monday.
Seven miles of the path will be resurfaced, the statement said. The repaving will begin at Ardmore Avenue in Edgewater, the northernmost point of the trail, to Diversey Avenue. The city will also repair large cracks in the trail and insert new lines and signs throughout.
The work is part of Emanuel’s Building on Burnham initiative to improve the lakefront; while repaving is the current priority, the city plans to eventually create separate trails for bikers and runners to “free up the bottleneck areas” where these pedestrians are often pinched together.
“We are working towards making the lakefront safer, more accessible and more enjoyable for more Chicagoans,” Emanuel said in a statement.
Emanuel’s Building on Burnham plan aims to have over 2,000 acres of protected natural areas in the city by 2020 – Chicago currently has 1,400 acres.
While this work is taking place, portions of the trail will be temporarily closed. After the first section of repaving is complete, the city plans to continue the project from Diversey Avenue to Oak Street Beach.
Nearly 100,000 people occupy the Lakefront Trail each day during the summer months, according to Ron Burke with the Active Transportation Alliance. This is comparable to the number of cars on Lake Shore Drive each day.