November 18, 2019

Chicago Department of Transportation and Chicago Parl District Double Down on Projects to Protect Lake Michigan Shoreline From Record High Water Levels

Latest projects follow previous measures to prevent flooding and protect infrastructure along Chicago’s lakeshore

Mike Claffey    312.744.0707 |

Susan Hofer    312.742.2006 |

Chicago— The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) and Chicago Park District will today begin additional lakefront stabilization projects, planned in coordination with the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, to protect Chicago’s shoreline from Lake Michigan water levels expected to remain elevated in the coming months. The joint project will protect Juneway Beach, Rogers Beach and Howard Beach on the far North Side from erosion. It will also involve work at 49th Street and the lakefront to protect the shoreline and Lake Shore Drive and the installation of barriers at 67th Street to protect South Shore Drive from storm-related flooding.

Additional City efforts come in the aftermath of two severe storms where waves as high as 12 feet hit the shoreline, causing severe erosion to already-damaged infrastructure. Models used by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers predict lake levels will remain high through winter 2019 and spring 2020 due to increased levels of precipitation in the Lake Michigan-Huron basin increasing the likelihood for additional shoreline and infrastructure damage.

Starting today, the Park District and CDOT will begin placing large rip rap to stop further damage and erosion caused by waves and storms at Juneway Beach.

Work will then proceed to Rogers Beach and finally to Howard Beach. CDOT anticipates it will take approximately four to five weeks at each site to place nearly 10,000 cubic yards of rip rap between the three locations.

Neighborhood residents can expect additional truck traffic on Sheridan Road and Eastlake Terrace for the Juneway Beach project.

Additionally, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, in cooperation with the City of Chicago, will place large rip rap at key locations along the lakefront between 49th and 50th Streets in response to additional erosion on the shoreline caused by recent storms. CDOT and the Park District will also be installing an additional 200 feet of concrete jersey barriers and sandbags at 67th Street along the lakefront as a preventative measure.

These measures are part of the City's comprehensive winter flood protection plan, and they follow the installation of 5,000 feet of concrete barriers at locations prone to flooding along Lake Shore Drive, Oak Street, North Avenue, Fullerton Avenue, Juneway Beach, Rogers Beach, Howard Beach, Granville Street, 49th, 50th and 75th  Streets. These measures were made in conjunction with the Department of Water Management's efforts to clear catch-basins along the lakefront to help stop waves from flooding streets like Lake Shore Drive.

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