I rode to Northerly Island last night for the first time since last year and the path on the lake side has completely collapsed in a couple of spots.
Does anyone know of the Parks department's plans about this? This would be a major reconstruction and would probably require an effective breakwater off the shore to prevent it from being washed out every few months.
Yeah, that eastern part of the trail has had issues all along, but last year it was still passable and you could easily ride around the barriers.
Now you can't ride it, unless you have serious off-road skills, and you have to lift your bike over the southern barrier.
Before this, it was mainly issues with gravel and stones pushed over the trail by high waves and the underlying ground being eroded slowly. I guess this winter sped that process up and the pavement buckled.
I'm pessimistic that we'll see a lasting solution. It would be a major project just to fix the trail. But then add on the necessity of a breakwater, and it will be too costly.
I think we'll have half a trail on Northerly Island for the foreseeable future.
"History shows again and again
how nature points out the folly of man" -- Blue Oyster Cult
Cyclo-cross Worlds are coming to town!
I think the last thing I heard was CPD and the US Army Corp were in negotiations about it, as it seems kind of obvious the US Army Corp needs to make the fix, but they may be considering a new design or user strategy. It really is a bummer, I love taking a spin over to Northerly.
It was a nice park after they closed Miegs field then the park district had a great idea to make it better by re doing it and putting a lagoon in the middle then party tents and Urban camping which essentially turns public space private.
Update on plans to repair the broken trail includes shortening it - https://chicago.curbed.com/2019/7/29/20746134/northerly-island-recr...
Just hoping they back far, far away from the comment one of the Army Corp staff made recently where they had the audacity to claim that the trail was never meant to be recreational, but was just to enable maintenance. That was bewildering, maddening, and downright delusional.
So it's going to be a dead end instead of a loop. They may as well close the whole southern end and make it a bird sanctuary.
Frankly I'm surprised no one has raised safety concerns about this already. It's a long, secluded and often sparsely used dead end trail with lots of blind corners, hiding spots and no lighting.
Don't get me wrong... I like riding it, and it's a beautiful view of the city and a quiet respite from downtown, but I am always a bit on-guard when I'm out there.
One solution is a catch basin on the lake side of the path in low-lying spots, then a culvert running under the sidewalk to the other side to let the water run through the culvert instead of finding it's own way via erosion. Such designs exist all over the county, especially near boat launches, riverside walkways, even under private driveways to allow water to travel without running over the structure or eroding everything. They are strong enough to drive a car over.
These elements are well within the design and build capabilities of the park district and certainly the Army Corps, but weren't in the original design because the they weren't needed, because of the massive lakefront barriers, which, oops, never happened. However, nobody went back and designed, funded, or built these culverts to handle all that excess water, and now here we are.
Its a shame they're giving up on restoring the full path. I'm still using the path in the mornings and evenings for a quiet detour on my commute.
I wish they'd limit the private event and concert interference with such a nice public space. I had to maneuver around four delivery trucks that were fully blocking the path at that event tent this morning. And how long until that ugly Hamilton thing is gone?
And why do they have to close the whole park when there's a concert? If they didn't want people listening in, they shouldn't have put their open-air stadium in the middle of a park.
And shame on Blair Kamin in that Tribune article for letting that Army Corp guy's statement about the true use of the trail stand unchallenged. Ridiculous.