Shoreline Stabilization Project
Update from January 15, 2020
Over the weekend of January 11, Chicago’s shoreline saw devastating effects from record-high lake levels coupled with severe storms. These storms have crumbled lakefront paths, torn down infrastructure, and flooded areas closest to the lake. Here in Rogers Park, we were lucky to have secured an emergency shoreline stabilization installation at three of our most vulnerable beaches – Rogers, Howard, and Juneway Beaches. I want to laud the Department of Transportation for their expeditious installation of these critical protections, which were put to the test over the weekend. The installation at Juneway withstood the intense waves and was able to effectively protect the parkland from further erosion, but Rogers and Howard didn’t fare as well. Originally, plans for Rogers and Howard Beaches included retaining access to the beach, but the lake has spoken and, due to the damage experienced this weekend, CDOT has determined this is no longer a possibility. They evaluated the whole after the storm and in order to protect the public land as much as possible, it is necessary to install additional rip rap where we experienced erosion.
The shoreline stabilization installation remains a temporary emergency stopgap, meant to last for 3-5 years while Congresswoman Schakowsky works diligently with her colleagues in Congress and the Army Corps of Engineers to secure the necessary funds to address Chicago’s entire shoreline. In the fall of 2019, Congresswoman Schakowsky, Congressman Rush, Congressman Davis, Congressman Quigley, Congresswoman Kelly, Senator Durbin, and Senator Duckworth submitted an official letter requesting the monies for a long-term plan. As a part of this long-term plan, the armor rocks at Rogers, Howard, and Juneway Beaches can be repurposed to serve as breakwaters to protect our shoreline and restore access to the beaches.
Below is CDOT’s official statement on the post-storm evaluation of the shoreline stabilization project:
“During the January 11, 2020 storm the new Juneway Beach rip rap revetment performed well, however, at Rogers and Howard Beaches where we tried to preserve some small beach areas as requested by the community, we observed signs of erosion due to the intensity of the storm. We are in the process of adding the eroded areas to the current scope and have them completed with additional rip rap and armor stone by the middle of February.”
Update from December 4, 2019
Representatives from the Department of Transportation and the Chicago Park District joined my office on December 3 to talk about the ongoing stabilization project at Juneway, Howard, and Rogers Beaches.
During the meeting, crews indicated that they have wrapped up the installation of an armor rock revetment at Juneway Beach and have begun work at Howard Beach. Vasile Jurca, the head civil engineer assigned to the project, was able to inform residents that crews will be able to maintain access to part of the beach at both the Howard and Rogers locations. The restoration of the beach at Juneway could be a part of a long-term, permanent solution. A copy of the project installation presentation CDOT shared is available to review here.
This long-term solution would require congressional funding, which the Chicago Park District has been partnering with the Army Corps to trigger. Congresswoman Schakowsky's office has been spearheading the effort in Congress to secure this funding for Chicago's entire shoreline.
The 49th Ward office is committed to facilitating community engagement around this process as we continue identifying permanent, sustainable, and equitable solutions for our shoreline.