By George Grenchik, with information from Calumet City
CALUMET CITY, Ill. (October 28, 2020) – Work is underway to clear space for a canoe and kayak launch along the Little Calumet River as part of a new park and recreation area planned in Calumet City.
Development on “Blues Water Run” will include a canoe and kayak launch, both a large and small dog park, riverwalk, multi-use trails, band shell, and both a bocce ball and frisbee golf area. Educational exhibits are also being envisioned.
Grants and funding
Calumet City received grant funding for much of the boat and kayak launch to be developed on fifteen acres of open space along the Little Calumet River, southwest of the Torrence Avenue and Ring Road intersection.
The city’s Economic Development Department received grants from both the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, in the amount of $480,000, and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, in the amount of $1.4 million. The total cost of the project, according to a city press release, is $2.3 million.
“Blues Water Run” is the name of the project, perhaps a reference to Calumet City’s prominence in The Blues Brothers film.
“Blues Water Run promises excitement and opportunity for Calumet City residents to gather with family and friends, enjoy nature and outdoor activities right within their community. It will be a beacon to attract even more visitors and shoppers to our 159th Street Corridor and River Oaks Mall,” Calumet City Mayor Michelle Markiewicz Qualkinbush said in an August 20 press release.
The Illinois Department of Transportation recently finished some road work—unrelated to the grants for the Blues Water Run project—on the Torrence Avenue Bridge over the Little Calumet River that is the boundary between Calumet City and Lansing on the east side of Torrence.
Work is presently underway to clear the land for the Blues Water Run project, with construction projected to start in the spring. Once finished, conceptual renderings show the area will be accessed from Ring Road, immediately west of Tilly’s Pit & Pub.
More information about Blues Waters Run can be found on Calumet City’s website.