I emailed the Park District to get an update on the schedule, and they replied:
Thanks for contacting us regarding Northerly Island!
Our planning department is projecting that the strolling path will be available this summer in June/early July. Visitors will be able to walk along the path; there may be large areas of the land space that remain unavailable to walk on because we're doing plantings in the natural areas.
We look forward to seeing you here this summer!
A) Nice of them to respond and B) Glad to see parts of this will be accessible soon!
the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers broke grown to develop the southern 40 acres of Northerly Island, thanks to a $2.8 million federal grant and $1.5 million in Park District revenues generated by the concert venue at Northerly Island.
Last year, the "new" concert venue was up and running and ran into some consumer backlash given weather and lack of time.
This all could eventually pave way for grander and more dramatic (and costly) changes to the infamous "island".
(Hat tip: JMK!)