The view of the Chicago skyline from the Lakefront Trail at 67th Street and South Shore Drive. Credit: Maxwell Evans/Block Club Chicago

BRONZEVILLE — With emergency work underway to stabilize the Far North Side’s shoreline underway, U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush is bringing together experts to address concerns about lakefront erosion on the South Side, too.

At the meeting, scheduled for 6:30-8 p.m. Monday at the Carruthers Center on the NEIU Campus, 700 E. Oakwood Blvd., Rush (D-IL) has invited several public officials to report on efforts to stop lakefront erosion and discuss recommended longterm solutions. Chicago Department of Transportation Commissioner Thomas Carney; Chicago Park District’s Director of Planning and Development Heather Gleason; and Colonel Aaron Reisinger, commander for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Chicago District, have all been invited to attend.

Lake Michigan has been rising since 2013, swallowing beaches and altering the shoreline throughout the city. Storms this fall have further exacerbated the problem, causing more damage and more erosion.

North Side officials led a series of community meetings in October to address the matter after the city installed Jersey Barriers along the lakefront’s more vulnerable areas, a move that Ald. Brian Hopkins (2nd) criticized as nothing more than a band-aid.

Near record-high water levels have already forced the closure of recreational areas and the enforcement of parking restrictions on the North Side as city agencies — along with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers — work to mitigate the damage done. As conditions are expected to worsen this winter, the closures are expected to last until spring.

“The Chicago lakefront is an ever-present source of recreation and beauty for the people of our district and is arguably the crown jewel of Chicago. Not to mention, it is a critically important environmental asset,” Rush said in a statement.

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