The Chainlink

as a new resident of lincoln square, i've been utilizing the North Branch/North shore Channel trail to commute up to my job in Evanston and had 2 questions. i've tried utilizing my google machine skills and searching this forum looking for answers, but have come up empty.

1. there's a big construction site at foster and the north shore channel that requires a detour and means the foster bridge underpass can't be accessed. does anyone know what the construction is for and when it might wrap up?

2. a while ago i read that construction on the long-delayed bike/ped bridge to get across the channel between lincoln & devon was FINALLY supposed to begin construction in spring of 2018, but i haven't seen any  signs of construction along that stretch so far. does anyone know what the current status of the project is?

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If you have to cross Lawrence, the new crosswalk on the East Side of the River at Lawrence Ave is really really great. I get off my bike to cross so cars can see me, but it's 100x safer than the old crossing.

Are you talking about the pedestrian barrier in the middle of Lawrence?  That's on the WEST side of the river, isn't it?  I've crossed there to get into Ronan Park, and stopping and walking is safer  Cars actually stopped for me!

another north branch/north shore channel question:

does anyone know why all of the trees along the river banks between argyle and foster have been chopped down?

i mean it's nice that we finally have a view of the confluence now that they've gotten rid of that ugly old concrete dam and replaced it with a much more natural-looking rocky cascade, but it looks a little "moonscapey" with ALL of the trees removed. i wonder if there was a beetle infestation or something.

A lot more tree removal was done along the river actually, south of Montrose.  They were invasive trees (ie, weeds) that have been taken over.  This was some time ago.  The NIMBY's on the east side of the river objected they thought the tree should remain because it gave them isolation from the park people.  

I don't know what type of trees are considered evasive.  Maybe somebody from the 33rd ward could find out more information.

^ yeah, i'm familiar with the tree removal the city did down at horner park a couple years ago.

this new tree removal up at river park just happened in the past week, and it seems even more wholesale than what they did down at horner. i mean everything within 30 feet of the river or so is just completely gone, on both the east and west banks. it looks very strange.

but yeah, maybe it was an invasive species thing. 

oh well. it'll only be several decades for new trees to grow to maturity. ;)

They may plant some though it usually would happen in the spring.

A reply to a similar question on NextDoor:

Tree Removals at River Park

Tree removals began November 19 along the North Branch Chicago River's east shoreline of through River Park from Argyle St to Foster Ave. This is part of the larger River Riparian Connectivity and Habitat Section 506 project that Chicago Park District is working with the USACE to restore riverbanks along the North Shore Chicago River and North Shore Channel.

https://myemail.constantcontact.com/Holiday-Party-at-CACC--12-15---...

The park district has been eliminating overly dense sections of trees. They've done other sections in the past years (eg near Eugene Field) It helps the river I believe to have the sun hit it and not be too shaded .they can also serve as vectors for contaminating other forests with buckthorn or mulberry trees. 

I don't know why they cut them all down in this section though. 

From Deb Mell's 33rd ward newsletter:

UPDATE: Tree Removal at River Park


This week, USACE contractors began placing stone on the west bank of the river and grading and removing the standing trees on the east bank for placement into the slope for stabilization and habitat.     

This work is part of the restoration of the riverbank at River Park that will result in 5.5 acres of new natural area, a restored gradual riverbank slope, improved habitat, additional mulched nature paths, and 2 wildlife observation areas. Soil from the grading activities will be repurposed and used to remediate and restore habitat at Big Marsh on the SE side of the city. Similar restoration techniques have been used in other riverbank restoration and most recently at nearby Horner Park.

All outreach and concerns can be voiced through CPD or the Army Corp of Engineers Public Affairs Office: 312-846-5330, chicagodistrict.pao@usace.army.mil

From the Army Corps of Engineers River Riparian Connectivity and Habitat Restoration documentation:

North Shore Channel at River and Legion Parks: gentle bank slopes from 1:1 and 2:1 to 4:1, remove invasive and non-native trees, shrubs, grasses and forbs, place soil amendments of organic compost, sand, silt, or woodchips for native plantings, establish aquatic bed wetland along bank toe, and establish riparian savanna on banks and parkland natural areas.

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