Plans to build Chicago's new riverwalk are moving forward.
The Chicago Department of Transportation awarded the contract to build the first three blocks of the new riverwalk to Walsh Construction after the firm placed the lowest bid earlier this summer.
Construction on Mayor Rahm Emanuel's riverwalk vision, which he unveiled last year, is expected to begin soon. Walsh will reportedly complete the first blocks by the end of 2014.
"The Chicago River is our second shoreline, which has played such a critical role in Chicago’s early history, the development of our industry, and our quality of life," Emanuel said. "With the reinvention of the downtown Riverwalk, we are making the Chicago River into the city’s new recreational frontier."
The riverwalk will extend six blocks from State Street to Lake Street. Each block will have its own theme, such as The Marina and The Swimming Hole.
The city will hold a second construction bidding process for the remaining three blocks of the project. Walsh's contract includes only the space from State to LaSalle.
Chicago's riverwalk is projected to be completed in 2016.