CHICAGO (CBS) — In Hyde Park, rising Lake Michigan waters have left public paths in ruins.
Barriers block bikers and walkers from getting close to the lakefront. A detour is now in place after waves ripped the concrete away along the lake, between 51st and 48th streets.
Kenneth Newman said the area has been “neglected for decades.”
He’s a member of multiple park advisory councils and says as North Side erosion gets attention, so should the South Side.
He showed CBS 2 damage that stretches as far south as Promontory Point.
“You can see the newly poured concrete,” Newman said. “That’s in the last year. And the sinkhole continued.”
The area has yet to be fixed in the more than $500 million Chicago shoreline protection project.
On Monday, Congressman Bobby Rush sounded off, saying that “near-record lake levels” and “longstanding neglect” have made the future of the South Side lakefront vulnerable.
He’s now pushing for a $200,000 Army Corps of Engineers study.
It’s meant to take another look at areas that were not addressed in a past finding 25 years ago.
Those like Newman are optimistic, but skeptical.
“They have to redesign parts of the lakefront,” he said. “The materials and the revetments are going to have to be made stronger.”
As more wintry weather is on the horizon, city agencies are scrambling to get protective work started in January. They have to have it done in two months.
The Army Corps tells CBS 2 that it is working to secure funding for the study.
More than half would come from the government, the rest from city agencies.