Chicago Pedway

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Sign of the Chicago Pedway.
A typical Pedway underground tunnel.

The Chicago Pedway is a network of tunnels, ground-level concourses and bridges connecting skyscrapers, retail stores, hotels and train stations throughout the central business district of Chicago, Illinois. With a length of more than 40 downtown blocks, it contains shops, restaurants and public art and helps pedestrians in inclement weather. Most connections to the pedway are commercial or government buildings, including hotels. Columbus Plaza, The Heritage at Millennium Park, the Park Millennium, 200 North Dearborn Apartments, and Aqua are the only residential buildings connected to the pedway.

The oldest portions of the Pedway, aside from the interiors of some included buildings, are the corridors between State and Dearborn Streets, linking Chicago Transit Authority's Red Line and Blue Line stations at Washington and Lake Streets and at Jackson Street. These were constructed with the subways; while the completion and outfitting of the Blue Line under Dearborn Street were interrupted by rationing in World War II, the two mezzanine connector tunnels were opened and linked the Red Line under State Street to the sidewalks of Dearborn Street. Construction on the pedway proper began in 1951 and has continued since then, especially after expansion was included in both 1968's Transit Planning Study: Chicago Central Area and the Chicago 21 Plan introduced in 1973.

The smaller but more elaborate eastern section of the pedway connecting the Illinois Center buildings, Hyatt Regency, Fairmont Hotel, Swissôtel and (later) Aqua, was not directly accessible from the main (Loop-centric) pedway network, although each linked to one end of the Metra Electric Line rail platforms, controlled by turnstiles and inaccessible without paying the fare. Since the Regional Transportation Authority's removal of the turnstiles in November 2003, the two large pedway sections have been united by the platforms. The southern reach of the main network was reduced when the 2nd floor passage across Madison Street, linking Three First National Plaza with Bank One Plaza (now Chase Tower), was removed after the two buildings restricted public access to upper levels. The tunnels between Chase Tower and Two First National Plaza remain but are closed to the general public. Chase Tower is still connected to the Blue Line subway and to the restaurant structure in the south-west corner of the adjoining Exelon Plaza, and public access is permitted during workday hours.

Numerous smaller pedways throughout the central business district are not connected to the main network. These include the tunnel below Quincy Street and the Dirksen Federal Courthouse, connecting the Red and Blue Lines' Jackson Street stations; within and between the Ogilvie Transportation Center and 2 North Riverside Plaza; within and between the Merchandise Mart and Apparel Center; and the passageways under Chase Tower's Exelon Plaza.

Points of entry and exit for the Pedway include:


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