First opened to the public in June 2015, Chicago’s newest multi-purpose park and trail system is The 606. Built on the former right-of-way of the Chicago Milwaukee St. Paul & Pacific Railroad, the 2.67-mile-long elevated Bloomingdale Trail connects the six ground-level parks of The 606.
Collins provided Phase II design for the The 606. The multi-disciplinary team led by Collins included subconsultants Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates (MVVA), who served as the landscape and urban design architect, and Frances Whitehead, who served as the lead artist.
The $95 million renovation project included rehabilitation of 38 viaducts, two new viaduct structures, repairs to 37 retained embankment sections, the addition of 13 trail access points incorporating ADA guidelines, and two new parks. The project also relocated an unused rail bridge from the eastern end of the trail to a new position approximately one mile west of its original location.
With frequent access points, elevation above city traffic, and a park environment, The 606 enhances the social and economic vitality of the neighborhoods it links, creating a new way to enjoy life in Chicago, and making it easier and safer to travel by foot or bicycle. Early 20th century infrastructure was repurposed to address 21st century needs: connecting communities, improving access to bicycle networks, enhancing ecological performance, and creating a new urban experience.