City Celebrates Opening of Chicago Riverwalk Final Phase


The highly-anticipated third and final phase of the Chicago Riverwalk project has officially opened in the heart of downtown Chicago.Benesch provided structural design and construction management for the overall $108 million project, which dramatically transformed a 1.25-mile stretch of the Chicago riverbank into a promenade filled with recreational amenities, economic growth potential and access to the river. This latest phase, which officially opened during a celebration ceremony on October 22nd, features three new sections, known as “rooms,” that include:


  • The Water Plaza (from LaSalle to Wells), featuring a water feature for children and families along the river’s edge
  • The Jetty (from Wells to Franklin), featuring a series of piers and floating wetland gardens
  • The Riverbank (from Franklin to Lake), featuring a public lawn and accessible walkway to Lake Street and upper Wacker Drive


The first three rooms of the Chicago Riverwalk project, which opened in May 2015, include The Marina Plaza, The Cove and The River Theater, offering restaurants, docking areas and more. The overall project involved a number of very complex and unique engineering challenges, including the need to extend the south bank of the Chicago River out by 25 feet. The ecologically-sensitive Riverwalk design also improves water quality for recreational use and aquatic life.


About Benesch


Benesch is ranked #126 in Engineering New Record’s Top 500 Design Firm listing, and is consistently recognized as one of the nation’s Top 20 “Go-To” bridge design firms by Roads & Bridges magazine. With expertise in engineering, planning, site development, environmental, geotechnical, construction inspection and landscape architecture, Benesch serves clients within both the public and private sector. Learn more at