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City Plans To Extend Riverwalk Along Chicago River

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This is an artists concept for a section of the Chicago Riverwalk between Dearborn and Clark. (Credit: City Of Chicago)

This is an artists concept for a section of the Chicago Riverwalk between Dearborn and Clark. (Credit: City Of Chicago)

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CHICAGO (CBS) – The city of Chicago has big plans for the walkway along the Chicago River.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office on Monday announced plans to complete the Chicago Riverwalk so that it will run continuously from the lakefront to the heart of downtown. The city hopes to make the walkway along the river’s main branch into a recreational amenity.

Emanuel calls the Chicago River the city’s second shoreline. And he says it plays a critical role in Chicago’s history and the quality of life for Chicagoans.

The design plans unveiled today include conceptual ideas for each of the six blocks from State Street west to Lake Street with distinctive: The Marina (from State to Dearborn); The Cove (Dearborn to Clark); The River Theater (Clark to LaSalle); The Swimming Hole (LaSalle to Wells); The Jetty (Wells to Franklin) and The Boardwalk (Franklin to Lake).

The bridges over the river establish a boundary between each block, which allow for each to have a unique identity and landscaping. Each block will be linked by the continuous walkway along the river, beneath each bridge.

The Marina is designed to accommodate restaurant retail space and public seating. The River Theater will serve as the location for the vertical access between Upper Wacker and the Riverwalk level. The Cove may accommodate kayak rental retail space and allow for human-powered watercraft to dock.

The Swimming Hole provides a great area for recreation, which may include a water feature such as a zero-depth fountain. The Jetty is a location for learning about the ecology of the river, with floating gardens and piers for fishing. The Boardwalk will be the site of an iconic bridge bringing people from Upper Wacker down to the Riverwalk level. It will be surrounded by floating gardens and landscaping.

The city is seeking federal funding to pay for the $100 million project.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS Radio and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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