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$64 million Lake Shore Drive extension opens

Published: Monday, Oct. 28, 2013 5:30 a.m. CST

CHICAGO – A new 2-mile stretch of Chicago’s iconic Lake Shore Drive opened to car traffic Sunday after completion of the $64 million project, which officials touted as a stimulus for economic development.

The extension cuts through undeveloped property on the city’s South Side where a U.S. Steel works once stood, opening up hundreds of acres land for new businesses to potentially set up, longtime advocates argued.

State funds paid $46 million of its cost, while the federal government kicked in $15 million and the city of Chicago $3 million.

The extension provides a shortcut for drivers heading to and from the Chicago Skyway and Indiana. It also was designed to steer cars from clogged residential streets on the South Side. The four-lane divided road also features bicycle lanes.

Gov. Pat Quinn and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel marked the project’s completion at a ribbon-cutting ceremony Saturday, when only bicyclists and runners were given access to the roadway.

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