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Straightening the S-curve could completely transform the Lake Michigan shoreline

Straightening the S-curve could completely transform the Lake Michigan shoreline
Courtesy Office of Ald. Brian Hopkins

Lake Shore Drive’s S-curve is one of Chicago’s most aggravating roadways, but a striking new plan to straighten the famous bottleneck reimagines a large section of the lakefront. The project would not only smooth out the S-curve, but reshape a portion of the shoreline adjacent to the Gold Coast neighborhood.

On Tuesday, Second Ward Alderman Brian Hopkins shared new artistic renderings of the project during a community town hall meeting hosted by the Streeterville Organization of Active Residents. The renderings show a transformed landscape that includes a new 70-acre park in the area of the Oak Street and Ohio Street beaches and a shoreline that is several hundred yards out from its current location. As part of the project, a stretch of Lake Shore Drive would pass beneath the new park before re-emerging and connecting with the existing roadway.

Dubbed the North Lake Shore Drive project, plans to straighten Lake Shore Drive and redevelop the surrounding area have been in the works since 2013. The project study group included the Chicago Department of Transportation, Illinois Department of Transportation, Chicago Park District, Chicago Transit Authority and the Federal Highway Administration.

Gianna Urgo, a spokeswoman for IDOT, told DNAinfo that the department is encouraged by the responses and feedback it received during the study process. "We will review and evaluate this proposal as we do all others as part of this project." If approved, construction would not begin until 2020 at the earliest.

Still, the proposed upgrades to Lake Shore Drive look pretty cool and would create some brand new waterfront green space for everyone to enjoy. Check out the renderings below.

Proposal

 

Courtesy Office of Ald. Brian Hopkins

 Existing 

 

Courtesy Office of Ald. Brian Hopkins

 

 

 

Proposal

 

 

 

Courtesy Office of Ald. Brian Hopkins

 Existing 

 

 

 

 

 

Courtesy Office of Ald. Brian Hopkins

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Proposal

 

 

Courtesy Office of Ald. Brian Hopkins

Existing

Courtesy Office of Ald. Brian Hopkins

 

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