Watch: Chicago Riverwalk extension welcomes its first visitors

A construction worker guards the entrance to a new section of the Chicago Riverwalk that opened Saturday. | Photo by Lori Rackl

The first two blocks of Chicago’s $100 million Riverwalk extension debuted under sunny skies Saturday afternoon.

I happened to be walking by to catch some of the Memorial Day parade on nearby Wacker when construction crews gave the OK for pedestrians to descend on the long-awaited attraction.

I pulled out my iPhone and Periscoped the action as the first folks set foot on this new part of the Riverwalk, a two block stretch from Clark to State streets. Mind you, it’s far from finished. Crews were still working on several of the storefronts that abut it, and a lot of the bells and whistles are still to come. Even so, it’s great to see progress. (I’ve been watching them work on this thing for months from the windows of my nearby high-rise.)

The video I shot is posted below. A few things to keep in mind if you’re going to watch it:

1. This is my first rodeo when it comes to scoping. I’ve never done a live Periscope broadcast before today, and I’m sure it shows.

2. You’ll hear me narrating but you won’t see the questions and comments viewers of the live stream were asking me. So when I suddenly say hi to Russia or San Antonio or explain why the Willis Tower is changing its name, don’t think I’m crazy. It all made sense at the time.

Another block-long addition to LaSalle Street is slated to open on the Riverwalk in early June. When the whole project is finished next year, it’ll encompass a little over a mile of contiguous Riverwalk from the Lake Street bridge on the west all the way to Lake Michigan.

While checking out the Riverwalk I ran into my former Sun-Times colleagues photographer Brian Jackson and reporter Tina Sfondeles, who were covering Saturday’s opening for the newspaper. (They both make cameos at the end of the video.) Check out Tina’s story here.

And here’s the Tribune’s story previewing Saturday’s opening.

1 Comment

  • Judy Rackl says:

    Love your “walking tour” of the new Riverwalk.
    Very informative, and anxious to come down
    and see it.

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