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Description of the Lake Park Avenue 53rd/55th Street Viaducts Streetscapes project-2007 phase

Distributed by the Chicago Department of Transportation. Text only here. Project Highlights
A service of Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference and its committees.

Beginning May 2007, the HydePark community saw the start of many improvements as the City renovates the public way beneath the viaducts along Lake Park Avenue at 53rd Street and at 55th Street. The enhancements are part of a comprehensive streetscaping project designed by the City of Chicago Department of Transportation in close cooperation with community representatives and your aldermen to increase the safety and aesthetic appeal of the area.

August 2009: Nearing readiness: the big art panels to be installed in the 53rd and 55th viaduct, along with some touch up or repairs and grafitti removal. However, funds have yet to be identified to pay artists for works in the 51st and 56-57 viaducts, where overhaul work approaches. A consortium led by the 4th and 5th Ward offices is considering fixup and permanent upkeep of the wests railroad embankment. So, some form of LILAC may come back. The 47th south wall has new murals and the north mural/mosaic is underway. Carol Yasko is restoring her mural on 56th. Intermittent restoration continues on the 55th St. mural.

The $3.8 million improvement project, partially funded by Metra, is the first of five planned along the Lake Park Avenue corridor between 47th Street and 60th Street. The design, which incorporates many decorative elements and infrastructure upgrades, wil contribute to the overall community beautification and further enliven the commercial district.

The public way beneath the two viaducts, which also provides access to the Metra stations, will be renovated and the embankment will be improved. Enhancements include the installation of a new decorative arch walkway with art panels provided by the University of Chicago, new lighting, new sidewalk an new guardrail. The project also includes column and skyway improvements, wall repairs and embankment landscaping.

Traffic impacts:

Work is scheduled to begin on the north side of the 53rd Street Viaduct and on the south side of the 55th Street Viaduct. 53rd Street, 55th Street and Lake Park Avenue will remain open to traffic and access to the two Metra stations, businesses and residences will be maintained. However, to accommodate construction motorists can expect periodic lane reductions on 53rd street, 55th Street and Lake Park Avenue. In addition, when the new decorative concrete railings are hoisted into place, 53rd Street and 55th Street wil be temporarily closed and traffic will be detoured. This brief closure and detour will take place during non-rush hours. Information will be posted and the public will be notified prior to this part of construction.

The CTA bus routes will not be affected, however, bus stops may be relocated. For more information, please call the CTA information line at (all Chicagoland area codes) 836-7000.

The project is scheduled for completion in late 2007

Project Highlights:

For additional information, please call the Department of Transportation at (312) 744-5900, (TYY) 311. Website: