To the Editor:
Last Friday MWRD and CDOT announced that funding had been obtained and work would begin shortly to “…help make repairs along the lakefront near Morgan Shoal between 47th and 51st streets to prevent further erosion and protect Lake Shore Drive from damaging waves.”
This statement was released without consulting the community, despite multiple efforts by the community to learn from the City, the Park District and the Army Corps of Engineers Chicago District about any imminent plans for construction on the Morgan Shoal and Promontory Point stretches of the lakefront. In fact, we were told by the Army Corps of Engineers that the emergency work already done on these stretches of the lakefront were sufficient to protect them indefinitely. There was therefore no need to do further work along these stretches at the present time, especially given the urgency of protecting other stretches of the lakefront that had suffered severe damage (e.g., South Shore).
Reaching out to the Chicago Park District and the Army Corps of Engineers following the announcement, we were told that the work is “temporary.” However, the work includes “…construction of a 20-ft wide, 800-ft long concrete revetment, which will also serve as part of the lakefront trail.” This is 1/3 of the lakefront involved in the project. As described, the revetment appears to be identical to the concrete revetment that the City and the Army Corps of Engineers constructed along the lakefront except at Morgan Shoal and Promontory Point. This concrete revetment therefore looks to us to be permanent.
The construction of a concrete revetment covering 1/3 of the Morgan Shoal stretch of the lakefront flies in the face of the detailed plan for this stretch of the lakefront that was developed through extensive consultation with the community. We therefore strongly oppose any concrete revetment at Morgan Shoal.
We have learned that the Chicago Park District expects that the work on the Morgan Shoal stretch of the Lakefront will be completed this summer and that work on Promontory Point will be done next summer. Given the nature of the work announced for the Morgan Shoal stretch of the lakefront, we are deeply worried that the work on Promontory Point will interfere with rehabilitation of Promontory Point consistent with the Secretary of the Interior Standards for historic preservation.
Promontory Point Conservancy
Jack Spicer, Connie Spreen, Bruce Johnstone, Jorge Sanchez, Don Lamb