Ambitions for North Lake Shore Drive Coming Into Focus in Chicago

Has Daniel Burnham-style planning returned to Chicago? The Redefine the Drive process so far seems like a resounding affirmation of 'magic to stir [women and] men's blood.'

1 minute read

July 13, 2017, 9:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


North Lake Shore Drive

ESB Essentials / Shutterstock

Greg Hinz reports:

After a couple of years of quiet work, city and state transportation planners are moving into a more public phase of how to rebuild North Lake Shore Drive, and though some fairly exotic concepts have been eliminated—such as bus tunnels under the lake and a light-rail line in the median strip—what's left is eye-catching.

Hinz is talking about plans to expand and rebuild the Oak Street Beach area into a major new park as part of the "Redefine the Drive" planning process. "Using lakefill, the beach would be reconfigured and moved hundreds of feet to the northeast," Hinz explains. "To the east of the beach would be an expansive new park running more than a mile past North Avenue, bisected by the new drive."

The article includes the eye-catching renderings Hinz mentioned earlier, along with additional details about the variations on the proposed plan for North Lake Shore Drive. The "Redefine the Drive" plan is now being circulated in public meetings, after work since 2014 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the city and state departments of transportation. According to Hinz, officials hope to settle on a final version of the plan by 2020.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017 in Crain's Chicago Business

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