The U.S. Department of Transportation recently awarded the City a $100 million federal loan to complete the river walk through the agency's Transportation Infrastructure Finance Innovation Act (TIFIA) program, according to a statement from the mayor's office.
The Walsh Construction contract will include the first three blocks from State to LaSalle. The statement also noted that construction will include an 25-foot extension from the current configuration into the river, and connections under each bridge.
The mayor's office said construction of the the first three blocks is expected to begin soon and is projected to be complete by end of 2014.
''The Chicago River is our second shoreline, which has played such a critical role in Chicago's early history, the development of our industry, and our quality of life,'' said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. ''With the reinvention of the downtown Riverwalk, we are making the Chicago River into the city's new recreational frontier.''
The $43-million contract awarded to Walsh Construction Company had the lowest bid, the statement said.