Street crossing goes hi-tech…Motorists and pedestrians on Chicago Avenue will soon notice a new type of street crossing signal at Harvey Avenue. The high-intensity activated crosswalk beacon, or HAWK, will give Chicago Avenue motorists a red light when activated by a pedestrian button or electronic detection of a bicycle. In addition to the red signal for motorists, walk indicators will be displayed for pedestrians and bicyclists crossing Chicago Avenue. The signal heads facing traffic on Chicago will remain dark unless the signal is activated. The system is expected to be fully operational by the end of October.
Chicago Avenue improvements begin final phase…With the sewer main replacement project in the books, construction along Chicago Avenue has shifted to repaving the street the entire width of the Village from Harlem Avenue to Austin Boulevard. Unlike the sewer main improvements that caused road closures along much of Chicago Avenue from about Ridgeland Avenue to Forest Avenue, the east-west thoroughfare should be open to traffic during resurfacing. However, motorists can expect traffic disruptions and loss of on-street parking at times during resurfacing, which is expected to last at least three months. The project also includes new curbs, gutters and accessible sidewalk ramps, work that will be completed before street grinding, paving and striping. Plans call for crews to work generally from west to east, starting at Harlem and progressing toward Austin. The federally funded resurfacing project also includes installing new lighting, decorative sidewalks and street furnishings in the business district from Harlem to Belleforte avenues, but these streetscape initiatives likely will not be completed until spring. As for parking, signs will be posted along Chicago Avenue indicating the dates and times of restrictions as construction progresses. Vehicle owners who have purchased overnight parking permits along Chicago Avenue will be provided passes to allow parking on adjacent side streets during construction. Residents can follow the progress and get updates on the resurfacing project at www.oak-park.us/chicagoaveconstruction.
Village Hall work underway…While hardhats aren’t required, entering and exiting Village Hall through the south entrance from the parking lot requires venturing into a construction zone with repairs underway to the Police Department’s underground garage. Much of the work is below ground level, but replacing the at-grade driveway along the south entrance to Village Hall between Lombard and Taylor avenues also is be part of the construction activity. The project is scheduled to be completed by November. Until then, visitors to Village Hall should expect disruption to street parking on the east and west sides of the building and pedestrian access to the south entrance. Access to Village Hall via the south doorway will be maintained throughout the project by using a golf-course style temporary bridge erected across the gap created by the removal of the drive. Portions of the sidewalks adjacent to the current driveways will be removed as well, so all pedestrian traffic to and from the south entrance will be confined to the temporary bridge. The Lombard Avenue entrance that offers access to the elevator for persons with disabilities will remain open throughout the project. The north public entrance on Madison Street through the Village Hall courtyard will also be unaffected and the Village Hall parking lot will remain open throughout construction. The garage reconstruction is part of a larger Village Hall capital improvement project that includes repaving the parking lot and installing new lighting in 2017. For more information, call 708.358.5700 or email email@example.com.