Chicago Riverwalk Enters Final Phase of Construction

The final phase of the Chicago Riverwalk is now underway.

Construction crews have until the end of the week to finish the Riverwalk expansion, which will include fountains, floating gardens and benches among other amenities.

"The project has inspired billions of dollars in other investments for the city of Chicago," said Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Dedicated spaces along the Riverwalk have been set aside for future vendors, which is how the city plans to pay off the $100 million federal loan used to fund the project.

Existing Riverwalk businesses anticipate higher traffic once the new project is complete. City Winery, a Mediterranean-style eatery located on the river, is considering asking the city to stay open past Oct. 31, when most businesses along the riverwalk will have to close. Many other businesses are doing the same.

The city says it's looking at requests on a case-by-case basis.

Although much construction is left to be done -- three blocks are expected to be added to the Riverwalk by this weekend -- the city says two more days is enough to meet the deadline.

"They've set the schedule, it will be done," said Emanuel.

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