Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) 1996 and WRDA 1999
This project provides storm damage protection to the Lake Michigan shoreline and Lake Shore Drive, a major transportation artery in the City of Chicago. The existing shoreline structures, built in the early 1900s, had deteriorated and no longer functioned to protect against storms, flooding, and erosion. Construction features of the project include: Reach 2 - steel sheet pile and concrete stair-step revetment from Wilson to Fullerton avenues; Reach 2F - beach nourishment with attached breakwater at Fullerton Avenue; Reach 3 - steel sheet pile and concrete stair-step revetment at Solidarity Drive; Reach 4 - steel sheet pile and concrete stair-step revetment between 23rd and 57th streets, with beach stabilization at 31st and 40th streets; Reach 5 - reconstruction of the breakwater at the South Water Purification Plant. The local sponsors and cost share partners for the project are the City of Chicago Department of Transportation, and the Chicago Park District.
Since construction began in the late 1990s, 21 of 23 project segments have been completed, 13 by the Corps and 8 by the local sponsors. The Fullerton Theater on the Lake segment was the last one completed by the Corps, in December 2015. The two remaining segments, 45th to 51st Street (Morgan Shoals) and Promontory Point, will be completed by the local sponsors. In 2019, emergency repairs were made at Morgan Shoal, a section of the Lake Michigan shoreline between 47th and 51st streets. The repairs were completed in 2021. The Fiscal Year 2022 President’s Budget includes funds for a General Re-evaluation Study of the Chicago Shoreline Project. The study will look at the feasibility of additional work within the original project area to protect the shoreline from storm damages and erosion.