FULTON MARKET —Four years after construction began, West Loop leaders celebrated the completion of the $20.3 million Fulton Market streetscape project Friday evening.
The project was designed to make the area near Racine Avenue and Fulton Market more pedestrian-friendly while preserving the historic character of the street and adjusting to the changing landscape of the neighborhood.
“We are pleased to be wrapping up this second phase of the Fulton Market Streetscape Project just in time for the summer and the city’s re-opening,” said Chicago Department of Transportation Commissioner Gia Biagi.
The design was a result of collaboration between city, residents and nearby businesses, she said.
“It … makes the corridor more comfortable for people who are walking and window shopping while preserving Fulton Market’s historic feel,” Biagi said.
The first phase of the project, which focused on improvements between Halsted and Carpenter streets, was completed in November 2018. The second phase, which broke ground in March 2019, focused on improvements along Fulton between Carpenter Street and Ogden Avenue. The second phase was completed in the spring.
Among the first improvements was the $500,000 gateway arch at Fulton and Halsted, which debuted in February 2015.
As part of the streetscape work, sidewalks were widened, granite cobblestone intersections were installed, shorter pedestrian crossings were created and separate parking zones for trucks were added. The area also got new bike racks, energy-efficient LED street lighting and ADA-compliant ramps.
“The project beautifies and modernizes the corridor while showcasing its historic character and making it safer for pedestrians,” Ald. Walter Burnett Jr. (27th) said in a statement.
Carla Agostinelli, executive director of the West Loop Community Organization, said the improvements preserves the “historic character of the neighborhood, and sets the stage for the continued development” of the corridor.
The City Council designated the Fulton-Randolph Market District as a Chicago landmark in July 2015, and the streetscape project was introduced and approved in the same year.
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