The 2015 construction season marks the start of an historic initiative to invest an additional $20 million over the next five years in the Village’s vital transportation network and water and sewer systems. Oak Park has more than 600 alleys and 110 miles of streets, many in need of major repair. As available funds have waned over the past several years, repair efforts have fallen behind community needs and expectations, a situation this new emphasis on capital improvements intends to remedy. Plans also are in the works to improve the Village’s 105 miles of water lines and 110 miles of sewer, much of which are nearly a century old. For the 2015 construction season 25 alleys will be rebuilt and five miles of roadway will be resurfaced or rebuilt, including 17 east-west blocks and 19 north-south blocks of residential streets. In addition, the Village will replace a quarter mile of water lines and a mile of sewer mains. For more information on capital improvements planned for the 2015 construction season email email@example.com or visit www.oak-park.us/construction where a map of all projects is posted.
Ridgeland Avenue improvements
Work on Ridgeland Avenue is among the most visible example of major infrastructure improvements underway throughout the community. Village contractors began a major sewer project last month that will be followed by crews installing a new street surface. The first phase of the Village sewer project required closing Ridgeland from Lake Street to Chicago Avenue through much of May. Sewer work then will shift north to between Chicago Avenue and Division Street, where much of the sewer system dates to the 1890s. Construction will require closing this section of Ridgeland Avenue through at least August. Ridgeland Avenue traffic has been diverted west to Oak Park Avenue and around the construction zones during the street closures and Police are discouraging drivers from cutting through neighborhood side streets. Village engineers are working with the Illinois Department of Transportation to coordinate the local sewer project with the street paving schedule. The goal is to have construction crews working on the repaving project finish the related concrete work such as curbs and crossings while the sewer work is underway. This approach, officials say, should make the paving process move quickly once the sewer work has been completed. Ridgeland will be open to traffic during the repaving project, but frequent delays and temporary lane closures are likely as crews grind off the old pavement before installing new asphalt. Parkway repairs and new street markings should wrap up the sewer and paving projects sometime in the fall, barring any significant weather delays. The repaving project is the continuation of the work that began last season at I-290 and made it as far north as South Boulevard before the winter.