• Debra Hammond

Between a rock and a hard place

As you may recall, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), the City (CDOT) and the Chicago Park District’s (CPD) design study of Promontory Point was to begin 1 October 2021 with the passage of the President’s federal budget and the funding of the Chicago Shorelines General Reevaluation Report (GRR). To date, the budget has not passed, and the federal government is funded at 2021 levels through a Contingency Resolution (CR). This means the GRR cannot begin, and the design study at Promontory Point is suspended.

The City has funded its portion or all of the work at Morgan Shoal and Promontory Point through its General Bond offering for capital improvements in November 2020. The GRR appropriation would move a design engineering study out of the City’s hands and into the Corp’s. If the federal government continues to be funded through CRs into next year, then it’s possible the Point will become a local project again.

And we all know exactly what the locally preferred plan is for the Point: demolition of the historic limestone revetment and new construction of concrete and steel.

President Biden did sign into effect a $1 trillion infrastructure bill. U.S. Rep. Robin Kelly specifically mentioned Promontory Point in comments to the Hyde Park Herald, saying she hopes Promontory Point and DuSable Lake Shore Drive will benefit from $105 billion designated for climate change-weather erosion resiliency included in the House version of the bill. This funding might be an alternative funding source for the Corp to conduct its GRR.

Photo credit: David Schalliol

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