Today, October 4th, the Riverview Bridge, a 1,000 foot long pedestrian bridge that Epstein designed and engineered, had its official groundbreaking ceremony. In an event held in Clark Park along the edge of the North Branch of the Chicago River, Mayor Rahm Emanuel broke ground on the Riverview Bridge, which will cross over the Chicago River and under the Addison road bridge. This new bridge will provide a new connection for runners, bicyclists and pedestrians between the paths in Clark Park to the south and California Park to the north and will also help create one of Chicago’s largest recreational hubs, called the ‘312 RiverRun,’ by connecting three parks with one path for nearly two miles.
“A new century for Chicago requires a new plan for Chicago’s Parks, one that draws on the inspiration of Daniel Burnham to use our river and lake to better connect communities and enhance residents’ quality of life,” Mayor Emanuel said. “The 312 RiverRun will create an unparalleled network of outdoor recreational opportunities for residents while boosting neighborhood vibrancy and economic growth.”
Once completed, 312 RiverRun will connect Horner Park to the north to California and Clark Parks to the south. It will extend across 95 acres with facilities and programming for every athletic activity supported by the Chicago Park District including: softball fields, wheelchair accessible baseball fields, fitness centers, playgrounds, an indoor ice skating rink, tennis courts, the mountain bike/BMX trail, an outdoor pool, boat houses and more.
Reaching more than 1,000 feet long and 16 feet wide, the new Riverview Bridge will be the longest pedestrian river bridge in the city. It will have an elevation of more than 18 feet to accommodate recreational use by boaters. Its unobstructed access will also eliminate the need for residents to cross major streets, enhancing pedestrian safety.
The Riverview Bridge is anticipated to be complete by the end of 2018.
The greater 312RiverRun redevelopment project is a collaboration between the Chicago Departments of Transportation, Planning & Development and the Chicago Park District and continues Mayor Emanuel’s goal of developing a continuous river trail system. The project is supported by numerous federal, state and local agencies, with funding provided by the Federal Highway Administration, the Illinois Department of Transportation, the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning and local sources. Other agencies involved included the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Coast Guard, the Illinois EPA and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. In addition, it required an agreement between CDOT and the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) to lease four parcels of land along the North Branch.
Representing Epstein at the groundbreaking was Theresa Pelletier, PE, Epstein’s vice president and senior project manager. Theresa has played a significant role in directing and managing our design and engineering efforts on this significant assignment for the Epstein organization. In addition, we would be remiss without mentioning the design of Riverview would not have been possible without the vision of Andrew L. Metter, FAIA, our principal designer for this assignment, who ultimately was responsible for the unconventional solution of disengaging the bridge’s path from the Riverbank and elevating the entire structure above the water level. This solution elevates the trail on piers, and locates it within the River, providing for a sustainable solution which preserves the maximum amount of vegetation, and riverbank stability, while minimizing scouring and erosion.
Lastly, all the groundbreaking photos you see here were taken by our in-house photographer, Monika Ciesielska.