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City awards $54M contract to start work on Bloomingdale Trail project

Bloomingdale Trail proposed renderings | submitted artwork | Sun-Times

Bloomingdale Trail proposed renderings | submitted artwork | Sun-Times

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Updated: September 22, 2013 6:27AM

City officials said Tuesday they’ve awarded a $53.7 million construction contract so work can start on the Bloomingdale Trail, a 2.7-mile stretch of old railroad right-of-way that will be converted into a park.

Walsh Construction Co. II LLC, connected to one of Chicago’s largest and most clout-laden firms, submitted the lowest of three bids, officials said. They said Walsh came in $5.2 million lower than the closest competition.

Losing bidders were F.H. Paschen/S.N. Nielsen & Associates LLC and the Lane Construction Corp. The city intends to use $50 million in federal money to cover construction costs.

The city’s Transportation Department will oversee creation of the linear park, which will be similar to New York’s successful High Line project. The work, including renovation of viaducts and retaining walls and taking out the old tracks, is due to start by the end of the month.

The park is expected to open in late 2014.

The old Canadian Pacific Railway land runs along Bloomingdale between Ashland and Ridgeway. The landscaped embankment, some 16 feet above the street, will connect the neighborhoods of Wicker Park, Bucktown, Humboldt Park and Logan Square and provide access to five neighborhood parks.

The railroad hasn’t used the line for regular service since 2001. It sold the property to the city for a $1.

The Chicago Park District will have ultimate control over the 13 acres of new green space.


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