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'The Shoreline Is Under Assault': How Federal Infrastructure Funds Will Help Chicago's Lakshore

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Saving the Lake Michigan shoreline.

That's what cash from the federal infrastructure bill, the city and state is designed to do. CBS 2's Asal Rezaei explains how the money will be used.

It's a shoreline that stretches over 25 mile. Alan Pirhofer, who lives along the lake, has been around to see all the changes its gone through.

"It was a beach that I used to raise my daughter on. From sand art, chalk art and being able to walk across the street with no pairs of shoes, go to the beach. And now you really can't because it's ultra dangerous with the rocks and the waters high," Pirhofer said.

The evolution of the shoreline that Pirhofer is talking about is why city and state leaders are investing $1.5 million.

"The shoreline is under assault. From the elements, from global warming, from deterioration over time," said Illinois U.S. Senator Dick Durbin.

Illinois delegates joined by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers saying now that they have the $3 million, they expect the study to be finished in three years.

A little over nine miles of the Chicago lakefront has already been protected, thanks to a study that kicked off 30 years ago. Engineers are hoping this new study will cover the rest and keep the shorelines from getting worse.

Lake water levels have been gradually going up since 2007. CBS 2 reported on the drastic shoreline erosion in 2019 as it was threatening beaches and homes. The city placed massive boulders on the beach to act as a buffer.

That's when Pirhofer said he talked to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers who told him a beach may very well be making a comeback here in the future.

"Down the road, you know, it could be 50 years that a beach would put be put back in," Pirhofer said. "So you know, maybe with this $3 million, we can move that up."

Some hope for Pirhofer  and others who live near the lake.

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