• Paul

Firm selected for initial design and engineering!

Very excited news: the Chicago Department of Transportation announced today that the City of Chicago has chosen a design firm, ARUP North America Ltd, to begin the initial design and engineering of the Bloomingdale Trail! ARUP was selected in the bid process of the RFP that the City issued last year.

Full text of the CDOT press release follows:


CONTACT: Brian Steele, (312) 744-0707

City selects firm for Bloomingdale Trail work

The City of Chicago has selected ARUP North America Ltd to begin preliminary design and engineering work on the Bloomingdale Trail, a project to convert an unused elevated rail line to a 2.7-mile multi-use path.

ARUP was one of 23 firms that responded to a request for proposals seeking qualified firms for the work. The City selected five teams for interviews about their vision and qualifications for the Trail project. The five teams each included strong interdisciplinary experience (design, architecture, planning), experience with other projects of similar magnitude, and success in incorporating community input into creative and sustainable design.

ARUP was chosen following team interviews, reference checks, and extensive deliberation by a committee comprising several city departments and agencies including the Department of Zoning and Planning, Department of Cultural Affairs and the Chicago Park District. The team showed outstanding strengths in all of the criteria.

ARUP is a global firm with expertise in the design, engineering and construction disciplines. Among its projects are engineering the “Water Cube” aquatics center for the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, the world’s largest highly sustainable public space.

The ARUP team features nine sub-consultants, including:

  • Chicago-based Ross Barney Architects, which has worked on several Chicago projects including Wacker Drive and the Chicago Riverwalk

  • Brooklyn-based Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, which worked on New York City’s High Line, similar in concept to the Bloomingdale Trail

  • Chicago-based Burns & McDonnell engineers, which has worked on many large Chicago infrastructure projects.

“We are looking forward to working with ARUP to turn part of Chicago’s industrial heritage into a green oasis,” said Beth White, Chicago Area Director, The Trust for Public Land. “We applaud the city for its commitment to this visionary project and we are proud to be a partner in such an inclusive planning process that also calls for the highest standards for design and innovation.”

The project entails extensive civic and community involvement from the Trust for Public Land, the Friends of the Bloomingdale Trail and other entities. As part of the design process, Trust for Public Land will host a future public design charrette process in conjunction with CDOT.

The Bloomingdale Trail will run from Ashland to Ridgeway using the elevated rail embankment along Bloomingdale Avenue (1800 North). The project was recommended in the Logan Square Open Space Plan produced by the Dept. of Planning and Development (today known as the Dept. of Zoning and Planning).

Chicago has approximately $3 million in federal and local funding for project design. CDOT is still working to identify construction funding for the project.


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