|construction of Wabash-State segment of Chicago River Walk|
|from left: Carol Ross Barney, Gina Ford of Sasaki Associates, Michelle Woods, CDOT|
“A typical boardwalk,” said Woods, “has a consistent look from one end to the other. On the main branch of the Chicago River, every moveable bridge is unique, every one is different and separate from each other. So we took this as an opportunity to create a different experience as you went from bridge to bridge and we used different types of river themes to come up with those different options.”
|click images for larger view|
Perhaps the key component to the River Walk is making it continuous, as opposed to the current obstacle course. “It's a river climb now,” said Woods. “You have to climb the stairs, cross the street, and then descend a set of stairs to get down to the next section.” To alleviate this, connection walkways, like the one recently built under the Wabash Avenue Bridge, have to be constructed to take each segment of the river walk under the bridge, itself.
|The Marina, State to Dearborn|
It will contain 1,900 square-feet of retail space; and a 3,000 square-foot plaza area for Al Fresco dining. The tops of the tall-backed benches double as the surface for the bar. “You have steps,” says Woods, “that go down, so you can sit there and enjoy the water very closely. This might also be a spot for recreational boat docking.”
As I mentioned yesterday, there are still a lot of questions about the River Walk development, but there's also an enormous potential to moving the Chicago River towards its full potential as an invaluable civic amenity, which we'll pick up on as we discuss the other blocks of the design in future posts.
|The Jetty - Wells to Franklin|