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Plans To Be Unveiled For Bloomingdale Trail Park

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Chicagoans next week will get to see the plans for log-awaited the Bloomingdale Trail, the liner park that will be developed along an old and defunct rail line on the Near Northwest Side.

The Chicago Department of Transportation is planning a presentation and meeting between 5 and 8 p.m. on Thursday, March 8, at the Yates Elementary School, 1839 N. Richmond St.

Officials will present renderings of the design for the trail and answer questions about its elements. The design was created by CDOT in conjunction with the Chicago Department of Housing and Economic Development, the Chicago Park District, and the Trust for Public Land.

The public hearing will begin with an open house where visitors can view renderings, talk to officials, and submit comments. A presentation of the framework plan for the trail, and a formal question-and-answer session, will be held afterward, followed by another open house.

Once it is completed, the Bloomingdale Trail park will run for three miles along the old concrete structure for the Bloomingdale Line railroad, parallel to Bloomingdale Avenue, from Ashland Avenue west to Ridgeway Avenue near the Milwaukee District West tracks.

No freight trains have run on the Bloomingdale Line since 2001, although as long ago as the early 1990s, trail organizers said the line only ran one train a week. Plans to turn the land into a park began shortly after the last train ran.

Some of the work to convert the trail has already begun. A small park, called Albany-Whipple Park, already been created at 1803 N. Albany Ave to serve as an access point to the trail. Access to the trail is also planned at Walsh Park, 1722 N. Ashland Ave., and at another proposed park at 1813 N. Kimball Ave.

A similar linear park, the High Line, opened with much fanfare in New York City in 2009.

Preliminary design work on the Bloomingdale Trail began last year.

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