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Northerly Island crumbling path to get fixed after years of erosion

Part of the looped walking trail will be shortened

The winding path on Northerly Island’s lagoon will get reconstructed after crumbling under Lake Michigan’s waves and high water levels.

In 2016, concrete slabs on the eastern part of the looped trail cracked in several places and the the park district closed the path while officials worked with the US Army Corps of Engineers to plan repairs. Earlier this year, a contract was awarded to fix the erosion and the work will begin in August, according to the Chicago Tribune.

The plan is to remove the east section of the path and install armour stone (which could look similar to the rocks at Promontory Point) on the peninsula’s side. The path will be shortened and a turnaround will get constructed just east of the southern lagoon bridge.

The manmade island was previously the Meigs Airstrip which closed in 2003. In 2013, the Huntington Bank Pavilion got a major upgrade with a new stage, new sound and light equipment, and a bigger capacity with 30,000 seats. A few years later, the restoration on the other end of the park was completed with a five-acre lagoon, 12-foot wide pedestrian and biking path, and mini ecosystem habitats to attract wildlife.

The framework plan for the abandoned land was designed by SmithGroupJJR and Studio Gang. Although the floating barrier islands were discarded when the design was built because it was too expensive, reported the Tribune. Instead a long row of rocks were added to Northerly Island’s east side, which didn’t end up protecting the public path.

The Hamilton exhibition on the island will close early on Sunday, August 25, due to the construction plans and also avoiding the North Coast Music Festival which begins on Friday, August 30.

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