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Logan Square, Humboldt Park, Avondale

Park Will Replace Vacant Lot Along 606’s Bloomingdale Trail As City Presses Ahead With Cleanup Of Contaminated Site

The city is doing environmental remediation work on the lot at 1807-15 N. Kimball Ave., which has high levels of the chemical trichloroethene.

The lot at 1807-15 N. Kimball Ave., looking west.
City of Chicago
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LOGAN SQUARE — The city is doing environmental remediation work on a vacant lot along The 606’s Bloomingdale Trail to make way for a trail access park, and neighbors are invited to weigh in on the plan at a community meeting next month.

Remediation work isn’t expected to begin until 2023, but the city is required to update neighbors on the project’s progress under a cleanup grant provided by the Environmental Protection Agency.

The city bought a lot in foreclosure at 1807-15 N. Kimball Ave. in 2005, city spokesman Victor Owoeye said. The goal was to build a public park and connect it to the elevated walking and biking path. But in doing environmental work, the city found high levels of the chemical trichloroethene in deep soil on the eastern portion of the site, among other concerns, Owoeye said. The site has a long history of industrial use.

Last year, the city was awarded a $500,000 Brownfields Cleanup Grant from the Environmental Protection Agency to clean up the site. Now, the city is pressing ahead with the project, with remediation work slated to begin in early 2023, Owoeye said.

The city will go over the project timeline — and procedures for maintaining public safety during construction — at a virtual community meeting 6-7 p.m. Nov. 10. Neighbors will be able to register for the meeting on the project’s website next week. Postcards for the meeting are also being sent out to nearby residents and businesses.

In addition to remediation work, the city needs to install engineered barriers and implement institutional controls to keep contaminants out and ensure the land is safe for park users.

The park won’t be built for at least a few years. Owoeye said the city hasn’t earmarked funding for the project or established a construction timeline, as it’s focused on remediation.

The Bloomingdale Trail currently has four access parks: Julia de Burgos Park at 1805 N. Albany Ave., Park No. 567 at 1801 N. Milwaukee Ave., Churchill Field Park at 1825 N. Damen Ave. and John Walsh Park at 1722 N. Ashland Ave.

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