Bloomingdale Trail Gets New Name and Final Plan

Final plans for what will become the longest elevated park in the world where unveiled this week in Chicago. The 2.7-mile rail-to-trail conversion has been branded as The 606, a nod to the zip code digits shared by the neighborhoods along its route.

"The planned 2.7-mile Bloomingdale Trail and five linked parks -- envisioned as an elevated pedestrian and bicycling corridor splashed with artwork and landscaping -- will assume a new, overarching identity Tuesday when the multi-use recreation system assumes a fresh moniker: The 606." reports Kathy Bergen. "The 606 label represents something virtually all city residents share -- the first three digits  of Chicago ZIP codes, which planners hope will connote unity and links among neighborhoods."

In preparation for the project's August groundbreaking, the final plans and implementation schedule were presented at a public meeting held Tuesday. "To start, 38 bridges along the tracks will have to be repaired and rehabilitated, which will result in the some weekend road closures including Ashland, Western and Milwaukee avenues," reports Victoria Johnson. "Attendees also got sneak previews of other plans for The 606 [PDF], including a skate park, event center and stage and an observatory designed to line up with the setting sun." 

"The development of a project name came about to dispel confusion surrounding the trail, which will run atop an abandoned 16-foot-high rail bed that runs above Bloomingdale Avenue, which is about 1800 [sic] north," says Bergen. "It stretches from Ashland Avenue on the east to Ridgeway Avenue on the west, linking Bucktown, Wicker Park, Logan Square and Humboldt Park."

"Lots of people thought it was in Bloomingdale, Ill., or many times people would call it the Bloomington Trail," said Beth White, director of the Trust for Public Land's Chicago office.

Full Story: Next step for Bloomingdale Trail: Creating an identity

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