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Riverwalk ‘fully accessible’ to disabled, promises city

Photo by Steven Dahlman

(Above) Aerial view of the Chicago Riverwalk on Tuesday from the 20th floor of Marina City’s east tower. Construction progress includes landscaping at the foot of the stairs from Dearborn Street at upper right and railings on the under-bridge section. (Click on images to view larger versions.)

9-Apr-15 – Older Chicagoans and those with disabilities may have to go a block or two but should find the Chicago Riverwalk accessible, according to a spokesperson for the Chicago Department of Transportation.

“The entire Riverwalk will be fully accessible,” says Mike Claffey, director of public affairs for CDOT. “Access for people with disabilities has been a key consideration in the design from day one. We are very pleased to share that the new facility will be fully accessible both in vertical access and along the length of the Riverwalk pathway.”

Ross Barney Architects

While there will be no elevators, Claffey says an ADA-compliant ramp is being built at River Theater (above), the stretch of Riverwalk between Clark Street and LaSalle Street. It will lead down to the river from Wacker Drive.

In the next phase of Riverwalk construction, a ramp will be located on the west side of Franklin Street. The Riverwalk will continue to be accessible from a ramp from the east side of Wabash Avenue to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

CDOT says the new Riverwalk, from State Street to LaSalle Street, will be open by the three-day Memorial Day weekend of May 23-25.