Members of Illinois Congressional Delegation Ask Army Corps to Address Chicago Shoreline Damage

February 16, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Today, both of Illinois’ U.S. Senators and Members of the House of Representatives representing parts of Chicago’s lakefront, sent a letter to the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers to address the emergency on our city’s shoreline. Following substantial progress on rebuilding nearly 9 miles of the city’s lakefront, the area experienced record high lake levels for most of 2020. The letter asks the Army Corps to evaluate the uncompleted segments of the project, which has already been authorized by both chambers of Congress.

The letter reads:

“Given the extent of coastal damage from these record lake levels, it is urgent that the Army Corps of Engineers move forward with this reevaluation study to identify long-term solutions needed to protect critical infrastructure along the shoreline. In order to do so, we request that $200,000 be included in the Army Corps’ FY2021 Work Plan to initiate a GRR of the Chicago Shoreline Coastal Storm Damage Reduction Project. The City of Chicago and the Chicago Park District have both already indicated their shared commitment to cost sharing the study, as required by law.”

Specifically, the letter highlights uncompleted segments of the currently authorized project, including Morgan Shoals and Promontory Point. It also identifies several areas that have recently experienced significant coastal damage, including Juneway Terrace Beach and Park to Osterman Beach, Montrose Beach and Pier, North Avenue to Oak Street Beach, 67th Street at South Shore Drive which includes the La Rabida Children’s Hospital, 71st to 75th Street, and Rainbow Beach, which includes the South Water Purification Plant.

Support for advancing this project was included in the Congressional funding bill passed by both the House and the Senate, and signed into law, at the end of December. A PDF of the final, signed letter is available HERE.