The first phase of the river restoration at River Park has begun. The removal of the century-old dam that sits between Foster and Argyle will be replaced by a series of riffle pools which will allow fish to move freely along the waterway. Contractors have begun placing
This project 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. The lumber that fits a diameter requirement will be put into the water for fish habitat, or get repurposed as wood chips for nature trails.
Similar restoration techniques have been used in other riverbank restoration and most recently at nearby Horner Park.
For more information, click here.
July 31, 2018
On Tuesday, July 31, at 2:00 pm, the century-old dam along the North Branch of the Chicago River (3000 W. Argyle Ave) is being demolished to allow upstream fish migration and improve navigation and surroundings for boaters. This demolition is part of a series of restoration efforts by the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD), and Chicago Park District,
The North Branch Dam, which meets at the confluence of the North Branch of the Chicago River and North Shore Channel, between Foster Avenue to the north and Argyle Street to the south, will be transformed into a more accessible waterway for an increasing amount of fish, kayakers, and visitors to River Park. Funding will be provided by USACE, the MWRD and the Chicago Park District.
In support of the USACE’s River Riparian and Habitat Project, work in and along the waterways will be broken down into phases, starting with the restoration of approximately one acre of stream bed. The North Branch Dam and other concrete within the channel will be removed and riffles, step pools, cobbles, gravels, and sands will be installed. Anticipated future work will restore 29 acres of savannah habitat, 14 acres of riverbank and five acres of aquatic beds by removing invasive species and establishing native bank vegetation.
Read the full MWRD press release here.