A long-closed section of the Lakefront Trail — hit hard by erosion and for months a roadblock along the popular path — is open again to walkers, runners and bikers.
The Chicago Park District reopened the trail between Oak and Ohio streets last week following the completion of erosion repairs, according to a news release. There are still crumbling portions of the trail, but the latest improvements bridge the lakefront route from South Shore to Edgewater.
Other repairs are still in the works, according to the Park District, including sections south of Fullerton Avenue and from 43rd to 51st streets on the South Side, a stretch of the Chicago Shoreline Protection Project.
The repairs have been made possible by Chicago billionaire Ken Griffin, who gave nearly $5 million to mend damaged areas. Griffin previously gave $12 million in 2016 to create the trail’s separate pedestrian and bicycle paths.
The Park District initiated emergency assessments of lakefront damage earlier this year after near-record lake levels and a January storm with waves nearing 20 feet pummeled the shoreline. That storm caused $37 million in damage in Chicago and Cook County, harmed buildings along the lakefront and shut down parts of the trail.
This is great news for me. What are the details about “ including sections south of Fullerton Avenue“? Can you now bicycle from Ohio street to north of Fullerton on the lake front?
I got a call requesting volunteer work August 1 on Irving Park St. I will go by bike from the loop. I want to know if I have to plan on a through Lincoln Park detour. I haven’t used CTA since March and do not plan to resume in near future.
the Lakefront Trail is open all the way from the South Shore Cultural Center to the Ardmore Avenue terminus, but there are sections where pedestrians and cyclists share the trail due to trail damage and/or flooding.
the stretch from North Avenue to Fullerton Avenue is one of those stretches, and because it is so narrow I would not use it on a weekend (or during rush hour) unless you intend to walk your bike; going through Lincoln Park and rejoining the trail at Fullerton may not be faster, but it will certainly be smoother.
about the stretch from Ohio to Oak: the water is very high in the Playpen and has submerged the pedestrian lanes. this means pedestrians are all over the place on that stretch, which in turn is making it doubly important to be hyper aware of your surroundings.
It's usable on the weekend (I was on it this past weekend), but you have to be mindful of other traffic. If you'd like to avoid that stretch, you can take the underpass just south of North Avenue over to Lincoln Park, and take it up along the zoo parking lot to Fullerton.
I have not ridden the LFT since January or February. I rode it on Saturday morning from Wilson to Monroe. peds and pedals share the path south of Fullerton. Just north of North Ave. I had to portage and carry my bike about 50 feet from the path over sand to an inner path closer to the water. With the lake levels high it was a little congested just north of Navy Pier but not a big problem. This is the area from Oak St. Beach to the flyover. The area just south of the flyover continues to be a no wake zone where you have to know you will be going 5 mph at best and watching for peds who really do not know where they are. I only rode there because I was meeting someone at the harbor. Otherwise, inland routes make much more sense to me.
I saw video of how high the water is now. It's much higher and covering the bike path compared to what it was a year ago when I visited. How sad for people trying to get a ride in.
Today there were warnings to stay clear of areas adjacent to the water due to high waves. Hopefully it will be less turbulent.
A few hours ago there was a full-on search effort with helicopter and boats to find someone who was swept into the water near Diversey.
During the last few days, the LFT section (directly under the pedestrian bridge north of North Avenue) has been closed off and blocked by construction equipment. If heading south, you have to dismount and walk your bike across the sand to the walking/jogging path and the you rejoin the bike lanes using the "connector" just north of the Shore Club.
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