City Announces First Phase Of 606 Trail Extension

View of existing 606 trail via Curbed

The City of Chicago has announced its plans to proceed with the extension of the 606 trail in Bucktown. The extension will only be a portion of the greater planned expansion that will take the trail into the Lincoln Yards megadevelopment, near which we saw another two residential buildings proposed earlier this week. The Chicago Department of Transportation is leading the work with an unannounced design team already working on plans.

Potential path for trail extension via Google Maps

Running for 2.7 miles across multiple neighborhoods including Humboldt Park and Wicker Park, the rails to trails project opened in 2015 and quickly became a major transit way and recreation space for the surrounding communities. Currently it terminates at its eastern trailhead park at 1806 N Ashland Avenue which is where the new work will begin, crossing under the Kennedy Expressway and Metra tracks to the east. Utilizing land mostly owned by CDOT and the city as well as some by Union Pacific.

Current view of trail crossing over Ashland via Google Maps

Work will begin with the addition of a bridge crossing over Ashland Avenue, replacing the original railway bridge which was relocated to Western Avenue during the trail’s construction. The roughly 800-foot extension will bring the trail east to N Elston Avenue, creating a new terminus at the edge of Lincoln Yards awaiting its next phase carried out by developer Sterling Bay. This will connect riders to the existing partially-protected Elston bike lanes, with easy access to the Salt Shed and upcoming The Outset venue.

Current view of trail crossing over Elston via Google Maps

The announcement of the project was made in the form of an upcoming community input meeting held at Ally at 1229 W Concord Place in August, the only completed building within Lincoln Yards. The project has been in the works for a few years now and design work is fully underway according to Block Club. Construction on the extension is expected to begin in 2025 and will take roughly two years if utilizing the same timeline originally announced in 2020.

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5 Comments on "City Announces First Phase Of 606 Trail Extension"

  1. I hope the city dedicates a decent budget to this project as it’s a tax revenue generator and a hugely used recreational asset.

    The Ashland Ave overpass calls for a landmark bridge. Hopefully with the continuation of plants to help create a land-bridge for wildlife to cross over Ashland safely. Dream would be timber construction like what they just did with the Moynihan Connector to the High Line.

  2. Why did they project take so long? Why does it not start until 2025? Why will it take two years? This is a very simply project that only gets one to Elston. We going to all be very old by the time this city has a river path and East West connections… and we will never see new subways, BRT, light rail etc if something this simple is taking more than a decade !!!

  3. The bridge at Ashland was not demolished, it was determined to be structurally viable and in the Spring of 2014, it was moved from Ashland over to Western Ave. A great example of large-scale infrastructure repurposing.

  4. 2025 to begin construction? I wish they’d start much earlier, but that’s just another day in Chicago.

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