North Lake Shore Drive

North Lake Shore Drive Phase I Study

Chicago Department of Transportation | Illinois Department of Transportation 

The Chicago Department of Transportation in conjunction with the Illinois Department of Transportation, the Chicago Park District and Chicago Transit Authority have undertaken a Phase I Study for the seven mile stretch of North Lake Shore Drive between Grand Avenue and Hollywood Avenue on the north side of the City of Chicago. North Lake Shore Drive is an iconic boulevard that traverses historic Lincoln Park. Most of the infrastructure was constructed 80 years ago and is in need of reconstruction. In those 80 years, travel demand has increased dramatically, but so has transit usage and non-motorized travel. As many as 30,000 users per day utilize portions of the Lakefront Trail. There is the need to strike a better balance between all users.

This project will correct design deficiencies at various locations along the corridor, particularly at the Oak Street Curve where an average of 3 crashes occur per week. Redesigning the curve will require extending the Drive into Lake Michigan. As such, extensive coordination is occurring with IDNR, USFWS and USACE to determine impacts and mitigation measures.

Because Lincoln Park is on the National Register of Historic Places and the roadway right-of-way is located at the backs of curb, any changes to roadway facilities will result in an impact to the Park. The Park is not only a recreational facility protected under Section 4(f) of the U.S. Department of Transportation Act of 1969, but due to its historic nature is protected under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966. As a result, this project requires substantial coordination with the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency and ultimately the National Park Service.

The project is being conducted utilizing IDOT’s Context Sensitive Solutions (CSS) process. A number of Tasks Forces have been created to obtain input from residents, business owners and advocacy groups. An extensive public outreach program is being undertaken with a project website, newsletters, and media campaigns.

A Combined Design Report and an Environmental Impact Statement will be prepared for this project.



Scope of Services

  • Environmental Impact Statement
  • Alternatives Analysis
  • Combined Design Report
  • Traffic Modeling and Simulation
  • Safety Studies
  • Intersection Design Studies
  • Highway Bridges
  • Highway Noise Analysis
  • NEPA/404 Merger Process
  • Interagency Coordination
  • Section 4(f)/Section 106 Statement
  • Public Involvement
  • Context Sensitive Solutions Process