94th Birthday Celebrated at our Bridgehouse Museum

The Michigan Avenue bridge's 94th birthday was a great excuse for a party at Friends' McCormick Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum yesterday when dozens of onlookers sang "Happy Birthday" after enjoying with amazement the giant gears raising the bridge for sailboats headed to the lake.

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Friends on the Chicago Riverwalk

Great progress is being made on the construction of phase 2 of the Chicago Riverwalk which should be complete by the end of 2014. The riverwalk will provide a wonderful array of activities ranging from dining to boating to just hanging out to enjoy the pagentry of the Chicago River.

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New Stormwater Rules in Effect

In good news for the Chicago River system, the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District's Watershed Management Ordinance for Cook County went into effect May 1, 2014. The Ordinance, or WMO, governs how stormwater is managed as new development takes place in Cook County.

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WBEZ Story Highlights Runoff

On the day that the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District's Watershed Management Ordinance went into effect, Tony Sarabia on "The Morning Shift," interviewed Friends' executive director, Margaret Frisbie, about how stormwater run off impacts the river.

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Boat House #3 Underway

The Chicago Park District started construction on a new boat house which is the third of four promised boat houses planned for the Chicago River. The ones at Ping Tom Memorial Park and Richard H. Clark Park are already operational. The boat house at River Park is particularly exciting because it complements the planned removal or modification of the dam there. 

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Horner Park Riverbank Restoration Underway

Last week the much anticipated riverbank restoration project at Horner Park began with contractors topping off invasive and dying trees that will be used in restoring ecological health through the restoration process. Designed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the project will transform the riverbank from a tangle of invasive weeds and shrubs to a healthy ecosystem that will benefit people and wildlife. 

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Albany Park Flood Tunnel Receives More Funds

A new massive tunnel intended to relieve flooding on Chicago's northwest side received new funds from the City of Chicago, bringing the total to $3.4 million which will pay for the tunnel's design according to 39th Ward Alderman Margaret Laurino.

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Friends Says No to Riverfront Heliport

On February 19, Friends of the Chicago River announced that it will oppose the proposed heliport on the riverfront on the near South Side. "Effectively, our organization is committed to making the Chicago River one of the world’s greatest metropolitan rivers – a civic asset that will enhance the environment and improve quality of life," said Margaret Frisbie, Friends' executive director. "A riverside heliport is incompatible with that vision."  

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Chicago Riverwalk Construction to Begin

Phase 2 of the Chicago Riverwalk (State to LaSalle) construction will begin shortly and is expected to be completed by spring 2015. Designs for Phase 3 (LaSalle to Lake St.) should be complete this spring and construction for that portion will start this summer to be completed by spring of 2016. 

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