Behind the scenes of Maggie Daley Park - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Behind the scenes of Maggie Daley Park

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

From the sky these days, Maggie Daley Park resembles a playground filled with little white building blocks.

Some are stacked neatly in piles, while others are scattered about. However, soon they’ll be gone, or at least covered up with dirt, grass, trees and concrete.

“You will see hills. This is going to be legitimate topography, we're going to have vistas from the northeast corner of this park that were never there before,” said Michael Kelly, Superintendent of the Park District.

Kelly said those white building blocks, that are called Geofoam, will be an invisible, lightweight foundation. They will cover the three acre playground, the quarter mile ice skating ribbon, the rock climbing sculptures and green spaces featured in the park.

The blocks look similar to Styrofoam.

“that's exactly what they are, they are large blocks of Styrofoam, they are used to offset the load of the added structures and change in the soil elevations that are being used out in the park,” said Project Manager Nichole Sheehan.

The use of the geofoam is critical because of its light weight. One of the blocks weighs only about 31 pounds. A comparable amount of wet soil weighs over 3,000 pounds.

The reason that's so important is because much of the park is being built above an underground parking garage.

“So we are the second largest green roof in Chicago, second only to millennium, and I should say the country as well,” added Sheehan.

The Geofoam won't break down over time. Park district officials said neither will enthusiasm for the park, which is scheduled to open next spring.

“Not to be corny, but there's going to be a wow factor. People who go to millennium park and they cross that bridge, it's not a bridge to nowhere anymore, it's going to be a bridge to wow,” said Kelly.

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