As part of a plan to bring more open space to Chicago’s northwest side, the city converted the underused Bloomingdale Rail embankment into a 2.7-mile elevated trail linking a series of grade-level parks.

When active rail service ceased in the 1990s the embankment was reclaimed by community members as an impromptu trail. In the early 2000s the idea gained traction through several community-based visions and in 2004 as part of the Logan Square Open Space Plan. The linear park had widespread community support and input from the beginning, helping to develop the park’s design, function, and aesthetics. The 606—named for Chicago’s zip code prefix—opened in 2015, connecting four diverse neighborhoods, and bringing together arts, history, and design. The park and trail system includes the elevated Bloomingdale Trail for bikers, runners, and walkers, which connects four existing and 2 planned access parks at the ground level; alternative transportation avenues; and green, open space for Chicago. The 606 network is a public-private partnership between the City of Chicago, the Chicago Park District, the Trust for Public Land and Friends of the Bloomingdale Trail.

Project Details

Infrastructure Type Railway
Status Open / Ongoing
Opening June 2015
Size 20 acres, 2.7 miles
Design Team Collins Engineering, Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, Frances Whitehead

Managed and operated by the Chicago Park District in partnership with the Trust for Public Land, the Friends of the Bloomingdale Trail and the City of Chicago

Project Leader Caroline O'Boyle & Ben Helphand

Latest News / The 606

National Recreation and Park Association / December 7, 2018

New urban infrastructure parks

The High Line is an urban park that might have never been built and is now estimated to be responsible for $2B in impact. The Atlanta BeltLine, Buffalo Bayou in Houston, The 606 in Chicago, The Underline in Miami, Philadelphia’s Rail Park, and the 11th Street Bridge Park in Washington, D.C. are among the emerging projects looking to unlock the potential of reimagined infrastructure and the benefits it can bring to their cities.