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On Monday, it’s goodbye rails and, eventually, hello Bloomingdale Trail

A runner jogs Bloomingdale Trail near Bucktown Chicago Friday.  |  Michael Jarecki~For Sun-Times Media

A runner jogs on the Bloomingdale Trail near Bucktown in Chicago on Friday. | Michael Jarecki~For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: November 1, 2013 10:08AM



The sun-bleached, half-buried railroad ties and the rusted rails will soon be torn up as major work is set to begin Monday on “The 606” — best known as the Bloomingdale Trail — a project that will transform a 2.7-mile stretch of elevated railroad into a park on the Northwest Side.

The city’s Department of Transportation will oversee the project, which includes repairing viaducts and retaining walls and converting the old railway into a multi-use path, city officials say.

“Construction crews are moving quickly to build the trail, but are also working to ensure that disruptions are kept to a minimum,” said CDOT Commissioner Gabe Klein in a prepared statement. “Neighbors can expect some parking and travel restrictions during the construction period.”

Bloomingdale Avenue will remain open to traffic, unless otherwise posted, but parking won’t be allowed along the route during the construction project, officials say.

For more specific information about the construction schedule, go to the project website, www.the606.org, and click on “News for Neighbors.”

The trail will be similar to New York’s successful High Line project, a public park built on an old freight rail line elevated above the streets on Manhattan’s West Side. The first section of the High Line opened in 2009.

Chicago’s trail, set to open in late 2014, is expected to transform the old Canadian Pacific Railway viaduct into an elevated trail, incorporating five ground-level neighborhood parks, various art installations and other amenities.

The “linear” park will connect the communities of Wicker Park, Bucktown, Humboldt Park and Logan Square.

In August, city officials announced they’d awarded a $53.7 million contract to Walsh Construction Co. II LLC.

Email: sesposito@suntimes.com

Twitter: @slesposito



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