CHICAGO (WLS) -- A celebration took place Saturday morning at Museum Campus to mark the completion of the Lakefront Trail Separation Project.
The new 18-mile trail system runs from Ardmore Avenue on the north to 71st Street on the south. The major change is that the trail is separated into two paths - one for bikers and one for runners.
"It is a joy to be able to have a separate path for the bikes and runners," biker David Wu said
Mayor Rahm Emanuel hit the trail as part of a 5K held to inaugurate the paths.
"You don't have to get up before 6 a.m. on the weekend to enjoy the lakefront," the mayor said.
The project is a key component of Mayor Emanuel's plan to invest in the Lakefront, the Chicago River, natural areas and recreational opportunities in neighborhoods across the city.
The Chicago Park District partnered with Citadel to pay for the $24 million expansion.
The Lakefront Trail system is already one of the busiest in the U.S.
"It is so exciting to finally have trail separation on the lakefront. One for runners and walkers and another for people on wheels, and so it's going to be so much safer and more comfortable," said Ron Burke, executive director of the Active Transportation Alliance.
The Lakefront Trail provides important access to the water for recreational purposes and transportation routes for many Chicagoans and the city hopes the improvement will continue draw more people.
5K celebrates completion of Lakefront Trail Separation Project