Mayor Rahm Emanuel unveiled plans on October 8 to expand the riverwalk another six blocks along the Chicago River.
The conceptual plans include a theme for each block of the riverwalk, with floating gardens, fishing piers, a new bridge from Upper Wacker, restaurant space, recreational space and public seating.
In April, the state of Illinois committed $10 million to cleaning up the river's high volume of wastewater from sewage treatment plants. Both Emanuel and Governor Pat Quinn said they hope the river someday can be used for fishing and swimming, and river advocates said the riverwalk's expansion is the next step.
Emanuel said the project aims to connect the lakefront to the city's downtown and create more recreation along the river, as well as new dining options. “The Chicago River is our second shoreline," Emanuel said.