The Chainlink

as a new resident of lincoln square, i've been utilizing the North Branch/North shore Channel trail to commute up to my job in Evanston and had 2 questions. i've tried utilizing my google machine skills and searching this forum looking for answers, but have come up empty.

1. there's a big construction site at foster and the north shore channel that requires a detour and means the foster bridge underpass can't be accessed. does anyone know what the construction is for and when it might wrap up?

2. a while ago i read that construction on the long-delayed bike/ped bridge to get across the channel between lincoln & devon was FINALLY supposed to begin construction in spring of 2018, but i haven't seen any  signs of construction along that stretch so far. does anyone know what the current status of the project is?

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thanks for the reply.

1. well, like most construction projects, they must be a bit behind schedule because it doesn't look like they'll be wrapping up anytime soon. hopefully it'll be done by the end of summer. it will be nice to have the foster underpass back open again.

2. that's a major bummer. that bridge won't necessarily save me a tremendous amount of time, but it will make the transition from the east bank path to west bank path far more safe and enjoyable than dealing with either the lincoln or devon bridges. it sounds like it's still years away though, which sucks.

well, well, well, i saw some potentially promising signs on my commute this morning.

i saw two McHugh Construction pick-ups parked on the grass and several guys in high-viz vests standing at the site of the proposed north shore channel bridge and pointing around at stuff. my guess is either McHugh got the contract for the bridge and are starting to plan out their mobilization, or the bid process is still open and McHugh was just doing a pre-bid site visits.

i sure hope it's the former!

At the last Mayor's Bicycle Advisory Council meeting on  December 12th, we were told that a contract was in place and construction would start soon on the "Stone Bridge" project that has been so long awaited.

nice! thanks for the confirmation on the contract award.

Not sure where you live  in  Lincoln Square but  a very easy straight line  to  Evanston  is to simply take California north from  Lawrence. Lawrence has a  bike lane.  California is a  very good street for bikes. There is enough  room for one lane of  driving  and one lane of  parking  most  of the way. That means bikes  easiiy fit between  traffic and the parked cars.  once you cross Howard Street you are in  a PBL in  Evanston.  That would be my preferred route in  any circumstance. if you are  going  to Evanston I assume you  have to  go out of your  way to get  to either the  North Branch or channel Trails.  I might consider the Channel simply for  the  diversion  but would prefer California, especially at  night.  . 

I don't live in LS but I occasionally bike to Evanston. This route sounds good; I'm eager to check it out.

we're right near the rockwell brown line stop.

i've done the california/dodge route many times, but i much prefer the channel trail.

it gives me 6 miles of car-free cruising, the first 2 miles of which are devoid of even cross streets thanks to the bridge underpasses at foster, bryn mawr, peterson, and lincoln.

and i kinda hate the PBL's on dodge in evanston. i was right hooked by a car in those lanes back in february of last year which actually prompted me to make the switch over to the north shore channel trail.

the channel trail route adds about 1 mile to my journey (8 miles vs. 7 miles via cali/dodge), but the modest mileage increase is a small price to pay for the shear joy of not having to deal with cars for 6 miles (75% of my total 8 mile route). that's my opinion anyway, YMMV.

Would you please advise where the channel trail is? I may want to try and ride it.

it starts in river park, just north of lawrence on the east bank of the river. (along francisco just south of ainslee).

from there it runs north along the north branch/north shore channel until you get just past the lincoln bridge (the trail has under passes for the bridges at foster, bryn mawr, peterson, and lincoln).

at that point the trail runs on the west bank, but there's no bridge for the trail to cross the channel yet, so you either have to loop back around and go over the lincoln bridge or ride a short stretch of kedzie up to devon and cross the channel on the devon bridge.

from there the trail runs on the west bank of the channel all the way north to green bay road in evanston (paralleling mccormick blvd). total trail length is 7.0 miles.

If you're describing northbound, this route has you going north on Francisco - which is a one-way southbound!

Go north on Lawrence into Ronan Park up to Argyle on the west side of the river, then east on Argyle over the bridge then north on the train on the east side of the river

i just ride on the sidewalk in front of the MWRD pumping station on the west side of francisco to get from lawrence up to the start of the trail.

when i'm on it at 8:00am every morning there usually isn't anyone walking on it, except for an occasional jogger/dog walker, and it's only for 700' so.....

for the evening commute home it's no issue as i'm headed southbound on that short stretch of francisco.

If you have to cross Lawrence, the new crosswalk on the East Side of the River at Lawrence Ave is really really great. I get off my bike to cross so cars can see me, but it's 100x safer than the old crossing.



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