R.I.P. State-Dearborn Pedway

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At least until 2007, farewell to a great poor-weather friend: the portion of Chicago’s sizeable underground pedestrian walkway between State and Dearborn Streets. Today was the groundbreaking ceremony for the “I’ll still only believe it when I see it” development on the long-vacant Block 37. While I’m looking forward to this shamefully gaping hole in the heart of the downtown fabric being mended by the planned new hotel/retail/office complex, they do have to build a foundation, don’t ya know. And what’s directly below Block 37? Rats, yes. And the pedway.

Now the eastern and western ends of the pedway will stay open during construction. Well, rah.

Trouble is, the great majority of us pedway users are downtown workers, shoppers, and dwellers looking for a wintertime shortcut to keep out of single-digit weather.

So for the foreseeable future, no more getting off the Blue Line and pedwaying it to Marshall Field’s. No more getting off the Electric or the Red Line and cutting underground to get to your city or finance job on LaSalle. And anyone parking under Millennium Park? Bring your coat if you plan to head west.

Ugh, it’s going to be a rough winter.

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