Construction of Obama Presidential Center site begins at Jackson Park

Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Wednesday announced the first stages of construction at Jackson Park to prepare the space for the Obama Presidential Library.

The preliminary work includes relocating utility lines and other necessary steps ahead of construction on the center which is expected to start in the latter half of the year, the mayor’s office said in a statement.

"COVID-19 has provided us with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create and expand opportunities for residents in our most disinvested communities," Lightfoot said in the statement.


"The set of investments we are making in tandem with the development of the Obama Presidential Center will not only help to kickstart our economy, but spur the inclusive economic growth we need to rise above this pandemic by uplifting our historic South Side," she said.

To balance the priorities for a better-connected Jackson Park with local travel needs, the Chicago Department of Transportation will add lanes on Lake Shore Drive and Stony Island Avenue and close roads interior to the park, the mayor’s office said. The initial transportation improvements will be funded by $174 million in state funds.