News / 2.13.17

Ideas to Action: Turning Your Stretch of the River into a Neighborhood Destination

Epstein’s Dave Hilty, PE & Becky Howe, PE ‘Expert Coaches’ for Metropolitan Planning Council Workshop

On February 16th and 22nd, Epstein civil engineers, Dave Hilty, PE and Becky Howe, PE, will be serving as ‘Expert Coaches’ in a workshop at the Chicago Maritime Museum being hosted by the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) entitled ‘Ideas to Action: Turning Your Stretch of the River into a Neighborhood Destination.’ This workshop is for organizations, groups and individuals who have ideas about activating a stretch of Chicago’s rivers (Chicago, Des Plaines and Calumet), and want support in moving their plan forward. The MPC’s workshop will consist of presentations and case studies that will give attendees information about place-making, physical improvements, programming, permitting, grant opportunities and proposal support. The event includes the opportunity for participants to further develop their idea with engineering experts like Dave and Becky as well as architects, community organization leaders, arts & cultural programming professionals, etc.  


Dave and Becky are particularly well-suited to being ‘Expert Coaches’ for this workshop as both have significant design experience for developments along the Chicago River. Dave, who has been with Epstein for over 27 years, was our lead civil engineer for the recently completed Wolf Point West, a 43-story residential apartment tower with cantilevered river walk, as well as 300 N. LaSalle, a 60-story office high-rise that features a storm sewer design that uses a Vortechnics separator to remove a minimum of 80% total suspended solids prior to the water discharging to the river. Dave’s current Chicago River design work includes River Point, a 52-story high-rise, 150 N. Riverside, a 53-story building as well as Riverview Bridge, a 1000-foot long, 16-span pedestrian bridge that will span the Chicago River just north of Addison.


And Becky, who joined Epstein in 2012, is a senior design engineer who focuses on site development projects, especially those along the Chicago River. Becky’s waterfront experience includes the aforementioned Wolf Point West, which features bio-infiltration and hydrodynamic water quality treatment of stormwater. In addition to Wolf Point West, Becky has also served as the design engineer with Dave for 150 N. Riverside and River Point, a development that includes a 1.5 acre riverfront plaza that will be dedicated to the City of Chicago as a public park, a landscaped space that will be irrigated with stormwater collected and routed to a cistern.


(Collage of Epstein's recent Chicago River engineering experience - includes Riverview Bridge, Wolf Point West, 300 N. LaSalle, River Point & 150 N. Riverside)

Lastly, the MPC will be sharing information about Chicago Community Trust’s newly announced ‘Our Great Rivers Fund’, which help finance aspirational visions for the Chicago, Des Plaines and Calumet Rivers' future. This Trust will fund up to 15 grants for river-adjacent neighborhood projects and grants can range from $25,000-100,000, with the possibility of renewal. Projects can address sustainable development, economic development, human health, and arts and culture, and must align with at least one Our Great Rivers Vision theme: inviting, productive, and living rivers. Staff from Chicago Community Trust will be at the workshop to give more details.

If you are interested in attending the Workshop on the 22nd (the 16th is sold out) – here is a link to the event: