Lake Shore Drive south extension opening

October 25, 2013 (CHICAGO)

The extension runs from Rainbow Beach at 79th down to 92nd Street and Ewing.

This property was the old U.S. Steel South Works. Now, the new boulevard will offer a shortcut for drivers while likely drawing many vehicles off neighborhood streets.

The road will provide the key piece of infrastructure to develop the empty land. Plans include housing, beaches and marinas, plus retail and commercial space.

The roar of traffic will be brought to a more residential purr as Lake Shore Drive establishes itself further to the east, closer to the lake. The redeveloped $64 million stretch, which will snuggle up to the 600 acres that used to the site of the proposed lakeside development.

The developer follows archetypal Chicago planner Daniel Burnham's edict to "make no small plans," turning a chunk of Chicago's industrial heritage, hopefully, into the home of 1,4000 residents and businesses over the next 40 years.

City Hall originally planned for an industrial roadway, but the plants, bike lanes and parking show this new chunk of Lake Shore Drive will fit into something much different than what was once here - the power then the demise of the American steel industry.

The new southeast portion of Lake Shore Drive opens to traffic at 9 a.m. Sunday.

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