Naperville Riverwalk project to break ground next year with $1.5 million in new funding

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Chicago Construction News staff writer

The planned Riverwalk South Gateway extension to the Naperville Riverwalk will break ground in 2024, thanks to a $700,000 gift from Edward-Elmhurst Health and $800,000 in state funding.

Construction will connect the Edward Hospital campus near Martin Avenue to downtown Naperville on the Riverwalk. The South Gateway is one part of the Naperville Riverwalk 2031 master plan and the Riverwalk Commission is currently examining layouts for the South Gateway extension before making a final recommendation.

“Naperville’s Riverwalk is known as its crown jewel for good reason,” says Naperville Mayor Scott A. Wehrli. “It’s long been a community destination to spend time with family and friends, to take a walk outside, get some exercise or simply relax.

“We are grateful to Edward-Elmhurst Health for investing in this well-loved Naperville amenity, and to Rep. Yang Rohr for putting the Riverwalk expansion forward as a priority for state funding. This support will allow us to enhance the Riverwalk for future generations.”

The 1.8-acre segment slated for improvement is located between Washington Street and the west branch of the DuPage River, from Hillside Road to Martin Avenue. The land offers river frontage, a convenient location on Washington Street, proximity to the Edward Hospital campus, and the opportunity to connect to Park District sites along Martin Avenue.

“We’re honored to contribute to the South Gateway extension of the Riverwalk . . . to enhance what is already one of Naperville’s prime attractions,” said Yvette Saba, president of Edward Hospital. “The Riverwalk is perfectly aligned with our Healthy Driven message for the community. It’s proven that being outdoors in a setting like the Riverwalk is beneficial to mental and physical health.”

The route will extend to Hillside Road, which will connect to an enhanced Hillside Road Gateway. The South Gateway adheres to Riverwalk Master Plan 2031 criteria, including design and construction standards that are attractive, as well as sustainable, accessible and fiscally prudent.

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