I’m sure you will agree that the foot path that winds its way through Loyola Park along Lake Michigan provides one of the most picturesque and peaceful walks anywhere in Chicago. I’m sure you will also agree that the path itself needs a major overhaul. Cracks, potholes and muddy ruts abound and mar an otherwise gorgeous view.
I’m pleased to report that will soon change. The Chicago Park District has embarked on a project to completely repair and resurface the foot path in the park. If you’ve visited Loyola Park recently, you may have noticed that work already has begun on the most run-down portion of the path, near Pratt Avenue.
The path’s current crumbling condition is due in large part to the Park District trucks and Police Department patrol cars that navigate through the park. The path was not sufficiently durable to support the vehicles, nor sufficiently wide to prevent the muddy ruts and tire tracks that currently border much of the path.
The path will be resurfaced with a layer of asphalt thick enough to withstand the weight of the trucks and patrol cars. And the path will be widened from its current eight-foot width to as much as twelve feet whenever possible to minimize the ruts caused by the vehicles. Park District trucks and Chicago police cars will be the only vehicles permitted on the path.
The project will undergo two phases. The first phase involves the resurfacing and selective widening of the path between Pratt Avenue and the tennis courts, and between Lunt and Greenleaf Avenues. The Park District hopes to complete this phase by the end of October, weather permitting.
The next phase will focus on the portion of the path between the tennis courts and Lunt Avenue. This portion is more challenging and expensive to repair because much of it is concrete and connected to a retaining wall. Park District architects and engineers are currently defining the scope of the work and developing a strategy for repairing this portion of the path. Park District officials tell me they hope to begin work on this portion of the path next spring with a targeted completion date of Memorial Day next year.
Another major park priority of mine is the repair of the tennis courts at Loyola Park, as well as the courts in Touhy Park on Clark Street and Rogers Beach on Eastlake Terrace. I’m pleased to report that the tennis courts at Touhy Park are currently being resurfaced and upgraded, and I’m pressing the Park District to include the courts in Loyola Park and Rogers Beach in next year’s capital budget.
In the meantime, I look forward to seeing you soon on the new foot path!