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updated: 8/29/2013 8:27 AM

Chicago turning old rail line into elevated park

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Associated Press

Chicago is transforming an unused section of elevated railway into a tree-lined recreational trail linking five neighborhood parks.

The nearly three-mile Bloomingdale Trail is being created out of a stretch of elevated track built a century ago. It runs west to east along Bloomingdale Avenue through West Side neighborhoods like Bucktown, Wicker Park, Logan Square and Humboldt Park.

Workers broke ground Tuesday and expect to have the trail fully open by the fall of 2014.

Artist renderings depict a walking and biking path bounded by trees and lush vegetation. Benches line the edge, giving people a perch from which to watch the city moving down below.

It is the centerpiece of Mayor Rahm Emanuel's push to create 800 new parks, recreation areas and green spaces over the next five years.

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