CDOT to Join Aldermen Alderman Burnett and West Loop Community Organization at Fulton Market Streetscape Ribbon-Cutting
Work is Complete on Pedestrian Friendly Streetscape Modernization from Carpenter to Ogden, Setting the Stage for Development of Western End of Historic Corridor
CHICAGO – City Officials from the administration of Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot today joined Alderman Walter Burnett (27th Ward), the West Loop Community Organization (WLCO) and other stakeholders at the ribbon-cutting for the second phase of the Fulton Market Streetscape Project, a celebration that highlighted the sense of optimism as the bustling mixed-use neighborhood is emerging from the disruptions caused by the pandemic in the last year. The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) project builds on earlier work at the east end of Fulton Market. It improves pedestrian safety and upgrades the infrastructure in the historic near West Side neighborhood that has become the epicenter for Chicago’s tech boom and dining scene.
The ribbon-cutting for the stretch from Carpenter Street to Ogden Avenue was held at the corner of Fulton Market and Racine in area that is primed to take off with the City’s post-pandemic re-opening. The streetscape modernization highlights the historic character of the neighborhood while making it more pedestrian friendly and adds placemaking features such as custom wood benches, bike racks and planters.
“We are pleased to be wrapping up this second phase of the Fulton Market Streetscape Project just in time for summer and the City’s re-opening,” said CDOT Commissioner Gia Biagi. “The design was a collaboration between the City and residents and businesses in the community. It reflects the evolving land uses and makes the corridor more comfortable for people who are walking and window shopping, while preserving Fulton Market’s historic feel.”
"We are very excited to cut the ribbon for the second phase of the Fulton Market Streetscape Project just in time for summer and the City’s full re-opening,” Burnett said. “The project beautifies and modernizes the corridor while showcasing its historic character and making it safer for pedestrians.”
The City Council designated the Fulton-Randolph Market District as a Chicago Landmark in July 2015. The streetscape plan was developed in cooperation with Alderman Burnett and community stakeholders, including WLCO and the Department of Planning and Development (DPD).
The historic Fulton Market area was one of Chicago’s economic engines in the 19th Century, serving as a wholesale market and distribution center for agricultural products from across the Midwest and West. It’s use as a wholesale food processing and distribution district continued through the 20th Century. While the neighborhood still serves a number of food wholesalers, it has been reborn in the 21st Century. The near West Side neighborhood now powers the City’s tech and cultural boom and is the focus of strong commercial and residential development.
“We are delighted to celebrate this project that preserves the historic character of the neighborhood and sets the stage for the continued advancement and development of the Fulton Market corridor,” said Carla Agostinelli, executive director of WLCO.
The West Loop Community Organization is one of 70 Neighborhood Business Development Centers that contract with the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection to provide neighborhood business development services and serve as liaison between local businesses and the City of Chicago. WLCO has been supporting economic and community development in the neighborhood since 1991.
“BACP’s mission is to foster economic growth in neighborhoods throughout the City” said BACP Commissioner Rosa Escareño. “WLCO is a prime example of the critical role that local community organizations play in their neighborhoods, especially as we reopen Chicago following the COVID-19 pandemic. We are thrilled to support this project and all of their great work supporting their businesses and residents.”
The Streetscape plan was approved by the Landmarks Commission in 2015. A gateway arch was constructed at the entrance to the district on Fulton Market west of Halsted Street in 2015. Work on the first phase from Halsted to Carpenter, was completed in November 2018. The second phase began in 2019. The total cost for both phases of the project is $20.3 million. The lead designer for the project was Jacobs Engineering, supported by Altamanu, Wang, the Dynasty Group and Metro Strategies; the prime contractor was Capitol Cement, the construction manager was AECOM and project management was by Knight E/A.
Features of the second phase of the project include:
- Granite cobblestone intersections, sidewalks with granite accents, attractive street furniture, including custom wood benches, bike racks and in-ground planters throughout the project area.
- New, widened sidewalks, bump-outs that increase pedestrian visibility to vehicles and shorten roadway crossings at intersections and new energy-efficient LED street lighting.
- Design that is consistent with the street’s historic industrial character and maintains raised sidewalks and dock areas on some blocks.
- New drainage structures and relocated overhead utilities.
- Formalized angled and parallel parking areas.