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Hyde Park, Woodlawn, South Shore

Jackson Park Harbor Getting $3 Million Fix To Better Protect Lakefront Trail From Flooding

The pedestrian portion of the Lakefront Trail in the area has been closed indefinitely due to flooding caused by a breached wall, forcing cyclists and pedestrians to share a path.

Construction equipment sits idle on the site of the Jackson Park Outer Harbor renovations, near the intersection of Marquette and La Rabida drives, late Nov. 2.
Maxwell Evans/Block Club Chicago
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WOODLAWN — A project bringing $3 million in upgrades to Jackson Park Outer Harbor is underway to better protect the surrounding area from high water levels, according to the Chicago Park District.

The Park District and marina management company Westrec, which manages the harbor, will build a new breakwater at the harbor’s mouth and replace a section of failed barrier wall along its perimeter, a Park District spokesperson said.

A sheet pile wall will be built at the harbor’s southern edge near the intersection of Marquette and Lake Shore drives, replacing an existing concrete wall which has suffered “severe damage” from high lake levels.

Credit: Maxwell Evans/Block Club Chicago
Though water had receded from the Lakefront Trail’s pedestrian walkway Nov. 2, warped concrete and dead grass shows the effects of flooding along Jackson Park Outer Harbor.

The pedestrian portion of the Lakefront Trail in this area has been closed indefinitely due to flooding caused by the breached wall, forcing cyclists and pedestrians to share a path.

The project is set for completion in early 2021, according to a Park District spokesperson.

Credit: Maxwell Evans/Block Club Chicago
A Divvy bike is chained to a gate keeping pedestrians from accessing the walkway nearest to Jackson Park Outer Harbor.

The Park District is funding the project, aided by a portion of the $4.75 million donation from billionaire Ken Griffin to protect and repair the Lakefront Trail from high lake levels. A Park District spokesperson did not respond to requests to clarify the funding breakdown.

The Army Corps of Engineers is not involved with the harbor renovations, an official confirmed. The agency is partnering with the Park District on other lakefront erosion projects, including a $3 million emergency revetment project at Morgan Shoal from 45th to 51st streets.

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