SOUTH SHORE — Winter storms and rising lake levels have impacted everything from historic homes to dog beaches along the city’s lakefront.
The accessible walkways at South Side beaches have been no exception.
At 57th and 63rd Street beaches, dismantled walkways are piled off to the side. It is unclear if this is the result of high waves or if someone has placed them there. Debris and sand prevents access for wheelchairs or strollers at South Shore and Rainbow beaches.
At 63rd Street and Rainbow Beach, a few pieces of walkway — like rubber connectors and wooden planks with rusted nails — are strewn across the beach.
The Chicago Park District is “working to assess and address damage that storms caused to our entire shoreline,” spokesperson Irene Tostado said by email Tuesday. It is unclear if cleanup efforts specific to South Side beach walkways have already begun.
“Accessible walkways and other lakefront features are also a part of the greater shoreline assessment study the Park District is doing to determine what areas need repairs most urgently,” Tostado said.
The district’s response did not address specifics, like a timeline and estimated cost of repairs or how the district would prevent future damage to walkways once repairs are completed.
Beaches in the city do not open until Memorial Day.
“As we approach beach season … we are working with elected officials, the city and other sister agencies to make repairs and provide access to beachgoers of all abilities,” Tostado said.
Do stories like this matter to you? Subscribe to Block Club Chicago. Every dime we make funds reporting from Chicago’s neighborhoods.
Already subscribe? Click here to support Block Club with a tax-deductible donation.