Bloomingdale Trail : Progress Report

CHICAGO (CBS) – It has been billed as Chicago’s next great park.

With spring-like weather upon us, CBS 2’s Roseanne Tellez decided to check out the 606—a park and trail project spanning about three miles along old railroad lines on the North Side.

The centerpiece of the 606 is the 2.7 mile long Bloomingdale Trail, that runs east-west from the Kennedy Expy to North Ridgeway Avenue–between North Avenue and Armitage.

An old elevated rail line is slowly transforming into a paved bike path with landscaping, lighting, fencing and parks.

“Well I’m thrilled to tell you we’re close to the finish line,” said Beth White, of the Trust For Public Land, the group that raised the money and is overseeing the project.

As crews worked near the bridge by a one of the 606 parks at Leavitt Street and Milwaukee Avenue, White took CBS 2 on a tour.

The project links Bucktown and Wicker Park, Logan Square and Humboldt Park.

White says everyone knows Chicago for its glorious lakefront.

“A lot of kids on the West Side have never been to the lakefront, and they need safe spaces to play,” White said.

Bucktown residents say they can’t wait.

“It’ll be fun when it’s all done, and I can take the dog for a run. It’ll be great,” one neighbor said.

Another added: “I think more people will be able to use it for running. And I think it adds character to the neighborhood.”

The trail will be accessible every 1/4 mile at ramps like the one at Churchill Park.

When the trail opens in June, four parks will open, with two more planned for the future.

White calls the trail a clever use of an old eyesore, and Chicago’s next great park.