By John Dodge
CHICAGO (CBS) — One of the centerpiece elements of the new Maggie Daley park will open on Saturday.
The skating ribbon, a weaving, quarter-mile loop at the north send of the park, will be free on opening day, starting at 11:30 a.m. On other days, admission is free, but the park district will charge $12 for skate rentals.
As construction workers speed toward completion of the new Maggie Daley Park, it sure has come a long was from being used as a parking lot more than 60 years ago.
The park will fully open in Spring, 2015.
The ice ribbon will allow for skating in the winter and skateboarding and roller-blading in the summer.
The largest pieces of play equipment have been installed and 30-foot towers, which will support a suspension bridge, are in place.
The sections of Grant Park commonly known as Daley Bicentennial Plaza, Cancer Survivors Garden, and Peanut Park together make up “Maggie Daley Park.”
Maggie Daley Park is bordered on the west by Columbus Drive, the north by Randolph Street, the south by Monroe Drive, and the east by Lake Shore Drive. It is connected to Millennium Park by the BP Bridge.
The $55 million park is being paid with public and private money. About $10 million was raised privately, with the rest of the cost covered by leasing the parking garages underneath the park and capital funds from the park district budget.
The park district has two web cams to track the construction progress.