The Chicago Riverwalk Project History

The Riverwalk is the 3rd and final phase of the Wacker Drive Reconstruction Project. The reconstruction of East-West Wacker was completed in 2002 and North-South Wacker was completed in November of 2012. As part of the Wacker Drive reconstruction project, the roadway was reconfigured to accommodate the Riverwalk build-out, and Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT), working closely with the Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Coast Guard, secured the necessary approvals from Congress in 2003 to redefine the navigational channel permitting a 25’ build-out between each bridge along the Main Branch of the Chicago River and a 20’ build-out under each bridge.
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial at Wabash Plaza was dedicated on Veterans Day in 2005, and in 2009 CDOT completed construction of Phase 1 of the Chicago Riverwalk, which provided a continuous river side trail from State Street to the lakefront.

The remaining work to complete the project from State Street to Lake Street has been divided into two phases (Phase 2 and Phase 3).

Phase 2 between State Street and La Salle Street was opened to the public in June of 2015.

Phase 3 from La Salle Street to Lake Street is currently under construction. Work on this section started in June 2015 and is anticipated to be completed by the end of 2016.