In Chicago, Friends of the Bloomingdale Trail are planning a 3-mile elevated, multi-use, linear park and trail that would run through the heart of the city and give residents just north of the Chicago Loop access to urban parks while re-using an abandoned freight rail corridor.
In 1872, after the Great Chicago Fire, the City Council granted the Chicago & Pacific Railroad permission to build on Bloomingdale Avenue. In 1893 the council ordered all tracks to be elevated, including the Bloomingdale, which was built between 1913 and 1915.
Engineers are currently in the process of surveying and measuring the structure. The design process has begun and in October 2011 the Friends of Bloomingdale Trail sponsored a 4-day “Charette Weekend” in which the design team presented ideas that the community could react to. For more information about the project visit the Bloomingdale Trail website.
The folks at Friends of the Bloomingdale Trail very kindly passed along a number of photographs that wonderfully illustrate how this old railway integrates with the community, which appear below.
Grid Chicago: Provides a thorough report on the status of the project