March 16, 2009

Shoreline Protection Project Receives $4 Million In Federal Support

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

Chicago's ongoing project to replace eight miles of deteriorating shoreline will receive $4 million in support for the federal government in FY 2009, Mayor Daley said today.

In a news conference held at the Shedd Aquarium, Daley joined U.S. Senator Dick Durbin, who secured the funding.

"The future belongs to the cities that recognize that people want to live in metropolitan areas because they provide more opportunities, more choices and more people. And they also want open space, nice parks, clean beaches, jogging paths, bike trails, flowers, trees and grass. They want clean and pure water.

"We know we must provide these things if we expect to attract the people who make up the modern workforce and to compete successfully in the global economy.
"On behalf of the residents of Chicago and on behalf of anyone who takes advantage of all the things our magnificent lakefront has to offer, I want to thank Senator Durbin for his support for this critical program," Daley said.

The Shoreline Protection Project began in 1999 as a partnership among the city, the Chicago Park District, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and is now about three-quarters completed.

The goal is to replace eight miles of the city's shoreline protection system built between 1910 and 1931. The total project cost is estimated at $354 million, of which about $192 is paid by the federal government.

The new revetments consist primarily of a steel sheet pile to replace the wood piles and stair step concrete revetments that improve access by the public to ADA standards.

To date, 5.8 miles of the project have been completed. The anticipated completion date is 2015.

"Protecting the shoreline from the waters of the lake keeps Lake Shore Drive from flooding, and also allows us to add new lakefront trails, create additional parkland and beaches, preserve existing features to the greatest extent possible, update utilities and improve drainage along the shoreline," Daley said.

So far, as a result of the program, the City has been able to:

  • Create more than 22 acres of new parkland
  • Triple the size of 31st Street Beach and
  • Create a new 6-acre beach at 40th Street

Overall, the project addresses shoreline protection from Wilson Avenue on the north to 79th Street on the South.

The funding the City will receive for FY 2009 will go toward work being done between Montrose Av. and Irving Park Rd., Belmont Av. and Diversey Pkwy., at Fullerton Av., between 43rd and 51st Streets and at 55th St.

"I'm proud of the environmental leadership example that Chicago has set and that is being replicated by cities here and around the world. I'm proud that we acted many years ago, in areas that many cities are just beginning to appreciate today," Daley said.

"We have undertaken hundreds of initiatives aimed at making Chicago the most environmentally friendly city in the world, and the Shoreline Protection Project is one of the most important," he said.