CHICAGO (AP) - A new 2-mile stretch of Chicago’s iconic Lake Shore Drive
opened to car traffic Sunday after completion of the $64 million project,
which officials touted as a stimulus for economic development.
The extension cuts through undeveloped property on the city’s South Side
where a U.S. Steel works once stood, opening up hundreds of acres for new
businesses to potentially set up, longtime advocates argued.
State funds paid $46 million of its cost, while the federal government
kicked in $15 million and the city of Chicago $3 million.
The extension provides a shortcut for drivers heading to and from the
Chicago Skyway and Indiana. It was also designed to steer cars from clogged
residential streets on the South Side. The four-lane divided road also
features bicycle lanes.
Gov. Pat Quinn and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel marked the project’s
completion at a ribbon-cutting ceremony Saturday, when only bicyclists and
runners were given access to the roadway.
“This is a boon for residents and business owners who have been waiting for
this day and a boon to local businesses who worked on it,” Emanuel said in
remarks released by his office.