All Aboard for Chicago's Massive Rail to Trail Conversion

Lisa Donovan reports that the city of Chicago has plugged a $9 million shortfall in funding required to begin construction on the long-anticipated Bloomingdale Trail project.

More than a decade in the making, the planned project will transform 2.7 miles of abandoned railway into bicycling and pedestrian paths along Chicago's Northwest Side. "While funneling bicyclists and pedestrians toward and out of downtown, planners say the trail will connect six existing and planned parks flanking the railway along with the neighborhoods of Humboldt Park, Logan Square, Wicker Park and Bucktown," reports Donovan.

"Beth White, Chicago director for The Trust for Public Land who's part of the private-public partnership involved in the planning and fund-raising, looks at the area like a 'charm bracelet' with the trail serving as the bracelet and the parks dotting the area serving as charms that will offer everything from recreation to tranquil spots to sit and read a book," notes Donovan.

The Windy City's version of Manhattan's hugely successful High Line park will be twice as long and will allow bicycles, unlike its east coast cousin.

Construction is scheduled to begin next year, with an expected 2014 completion date.

Full Story: City finds money for abandoned rail to become Bloomingdale Trail

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