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After Delay, Ridge Ave Construction To Commence On Monday

roadwork-2The Ridge Avenue construction project which was originally scheduled to begin on June 22, will now commence on July 11. The work will close Ridge Ave. between Clark and Broadway in Edgewater.

The project was delayed because the Illinois Department of Transportation was waiting to sign off on necessary permits. The contractor of the work, Joel Kennedy Constructing Corp., is expecting the work to take as long as five to six weeks. Work will occur on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., with some weekend work expected. 

According to the Alderman Harry Osterman, road restrictions are as follows:

  • Ridge will be closed from Clark to Broadway, with no westbound traffic permitted.
  • One eastbound lane will remain open, but only for emergency vehicles, eastbound CTA buses and work trucks related to the project.
  • Numerous detour and alternate traffic route signs will be posted on streets surrounding the project to direct vehicles to their destinations without using the 48th Ward community as a cut-through.
  • All westbound CTA buses will be detoured from the CTA station on Bryn Mawr to Broadway, south on Broadway to Foster, west on Foster to Ashland, north on Ashland to Peterson, then west to continue on their usual routes. 

Also, some streets near Ridge Ave. will have restricted parking from 7 a.m.-4 p.m.

In an email statement sent out by the Alderman to residents, he acknowledged that the project will most likely cause significant headaches for residents.

Osterman said, “We understand the traffic burden a project of this size will have on our community and we will do our best to minimize the impact throughout the project.”

Signs will soon go up around Edgewater showing alternative routes for vehicles. These routes should help steer commuters away from the area’s residential streets.

The Ridge Ave. project is part of a 10-year capital program the city’s Department of Water Management launched in 2012 to renew Chicago’s water infrastructure.

According to the City of Chicago’s 2016 Budget Overview, Chicago’s water and sewer system pipes are an average of about 85 years old. More than 2,500 miles of the system have been in place for 100 years, at least.

The project targets 880 miles of aging water mains for replacement, more than 250 miles of sewer mains for replacement and 490 miles of sewer mains for lining. The city aims to help conserve Lake Michigan’s water and protect water quality, decrease basement flooding risks by enlarging sewer mains, and reduce disruptions to the public from unplanned water and sewer main repairs.

This year, the Department of Water Management will continue to upgrade the water system by replacing and installing 90 miles of new water mains and 22 miles of new sewer mains. It will also line 53 miles of old sewers to extend their working life, the city’s budget overview said.

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