Walsh Underway on Major Segment of Chicago Riverwalk
Despite the ruthless winter Chicago endured, construction on the Riverwalk began in February. By the end of this year, there will be restaurants, an area for small boats and kayaks, and a river theater. The shoreline will also be built out 20 feet into the river.
Walsh has the challenging task of working in an area right in the middle of the daily grind of downtown Chicago: the Red Line Subway, Chicago freight tunnel network, water mains feeding the central business district, telecommunication systems, and power are some of the main obstacles to work around.
Caisson drilling will begin soon. Steel cylinders, 75 feet deep, six feet in diameter, and open at each end will be pounded into the riverbed. After the soil is drilled out, rebar will be lowered into each caisson, which will then be filled with concrete. The rebar, used to reinforce the concrete, will be in the form of a steel cage running the full height of the caisson.
Walsh and the Chicago Harbor Safety Committee have notified all river traffic to treat this part of the river as a construction zone. That means speeds will be dramatically reduced with barges taking up at least half the width of the river.