FAQ: The 606
What is The 606?
What will The 606 bring to Chicago?
Why is it called The 606?
Where is The 606?
Can I use The 606 now?
Who is working on the project?
How much will The 606 cost and who will pay for it?
When will The 606 be complete?
The 606 takes Chicago’s legacy of great parks to new heights. The 606 has the elevated Bloomingdale Trail as its centerpiece, connected to six neighborhood parks at ground level, a wheel-friendly event plaza, an observatory, art installations, educational programming, and other amenities. Set above city streets, it’s a new way to explore Chicago on trails for biking, running and strolling. The 606 also connects parks, people, and communities; what once physically separated four neighborhoods now will knit them together and attract visitors from throughout Chicago and beyond. Imagine block after block of uninterrupted trails. Kids will learn to ride their bikes here, commuters will find a new shortcut to work, and neighbors will make new friends. The 606 will change what it means to go to the park.
Building on the City’s legacy for innovative parks, The 606 is the latest in Chicago’s long line of world-class public spaces. It will provide nearly three miles of much-needed open green space, and link four diverse city neighborhoods with the elevated trail and six neighborhood parks. The 606 will also bring economic development, public health, safety, environmental, and transportation benefits to our community. It will serve 80,000 neighbors-including 20,000 children-within a ten minute walk and is also expected to be a popular, citywide attraction and tourist destination.
The project is named for the 606 zip code prefix all Chicagoans share, reflecting the park and trail system’s role as a community connector. The 606 name also evokes a connection to the site’s transportation history, a play on the tradition of using numbers to name rail lines, highways and other transportation corridors.
The park and trail system is on Chicago’s Northwest side, running along Bloomingdale Ave (1800 N), from Ashland Ave (1600 W) on the east to Ridgeway Ave (3750 W) on the west. The project connects four ethnically and economically diverse Chicago neighborhoods: Wicker Park, Bucktown, Humboldt Park and Logan Square.
During construction, the entirety of the centerpiece Bloomingdale Trail and portions of some parks are closed to the public. No trespassing, please.
The 606 is a public/private partnership between the City of Chicago, the Chicago Park District, and The Trust for Public Land. The Trust for Public Land is the lead private partner on The 606, and the project manager on behalf of the Chicago Park District. The not-for-profit is the nation’s leading organization focused on creating parks for people, especially urban park space, and is overseeing civic engagement, fundraising and land acquisition for project. Recognizing the value of increasing access to open spaces, Mayor Emanuel has made The 606 is one of his signature projects. The completed park and trail system will be funded through a mix of federal, state and local funding, as well as private and corporate philanthropy.
Preliminary estimates put the total cost at $95 million. The team has already raised $72 million towards completion of the project, including $54 million in public funds and $18 million in private donations. The 606’s unique plan presents significant, creative donor recognition opportunities, and charitable gifts of all sizes will fund at least one-third of total project costs.
The first phase of project, including landscaping, will open in June 2015. At that time, the elevated Bloomingdale Trail-the centerpiece of the system-and four of the connected parks will be fully ADA compliant. Additional parks, further arts integration and enhanced landscaping will follow in additional phases. The project broke ground in August 2013.