606 Trail may extend east of Chicago River

SHARE 606 Trail may extend east of Chicago River
The Bloomingdale Trail, also known as the 606, is shown when it opened in 2015. Since then, it has become popular and crowded, and housing prices in the areas along the 2.7-mile trail have climbed, feeding fears that gentrification will push out lower-income residents.

The 606 Trail | Sun-Times file photo

Sun-Times file

The 606 Trail may be expanding east across the Chicago River, now that a Goose Island railroad company has agreed to give up its tracks.

The 2.7-mile long trail, built on a former railroad abutting Bloomingdale Avenue, currently runs from Lawndale to Ashland avenues. The trail, opened in 2015, may soon go east under the Kennedy Expressway, across the river and onto Goose Island.

An agreement between Sterling Bay and the Chicago Terminal Railroad created the possibility of the extension, though it’s unclear how much further the trail would run.

Last week, the Surface Transportation Board gave the city, railroad and developer until Oct. 27 to come up with an “interim trail use” plan, according to board records.

“We believe the STB’s decision is consistent with the recently completed, long-term comprehensive planning review for the North Branch Corridor and will allow us to pursue opportunities beneficial to the surrounding neighborhoods,” Sterling Bay Managing Principal Andy Gloor said in a statement.

“We will continue to work with the Chicago Terminal Railroad and the City of Chicago to help foster the anticipated extension of the 606 east of Ashland Avenue and across the Chicago River,” he added.

It’s unclear how far east the trail could expand, or if it would continue going east-west as it does now.

The North Branch Corridor, long a primarily industrial area, has been the subject of serious redevelopment efforts in recent years that aim to bring more residential and commercial appeal to the area

Lincoln Yards, the area near where Cortland Avenue crosses the river that was once home to the Finkl Steel plant, was one of the areas that representatives from Amazon visited Chicago in March while scouting possible locations for the internet retailer’s “HQ2.”

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