Bloomingdale Trail Gets Funding Boost

By Samantha Abernethy in News on Mar 12, 2012 10:10PM

Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced a $290 million influx of cash for renovating Chicago's parks, including $7 million to fund the Bloomingdale Trail. At 2.65 miles, the multi-use trail would be the longest elevated park in the world, using railroad tracks that have been vacant since the 1980s.

Energy company Exelon donated $5 million, while CNA and Boeing each pitched in $1 million. The new cash pushes the Trail project into its final engineering and design phase this week. Construction will begin in late 2012 and hopes to finish by fall 2014. The mayor's office said in a release:

The tracks, which are currently unused, will be converted into a safe greenway that accommodates both pedestrian and bike travel, and connects the west side to existing bike lanes that feed into the Loop. There will be multiple access points that double as neighborhood parks and link the trail to existing bike and transit routes. The Damen and Western stops on the Blue Line, the Clybourn Metra station, and the North Avenue, Fullerton, Western Kedzie, Kimball, California, Milwaukee and Ashland busses all pass under, over or nearby the Trail.

Plans have been in the works for years, and we're glad to see the cash since we were worried the city couldn't stay green without the green. In particular, we look forward to this easing bike congestion on Milwaukee Avenue during rush hours. Watch the video below to find out more about the project and visit BloomingdaleTrail.org.