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Working on all Phases of Better Lake Street

posted May 22, 2020

Special Announcement:  A reconfigured Oak Park Farmer’s Market opens on May 30 to allow room for safe social distancing and preorders via an online app. Better Lake Street is doing its part by repaving Scoville Avenue between Lake Street and South Boulevard.

Weekly progress to note:

  • The electrical contractor for the streetscape project will mobilize to the Oak Park Avenue and Lake Street intersection this week to install the future conduit crossings. The streetscape contractor will follow to remove the remaining sections of the intersection and place the concrete base course for the future work. This advanced work should help minimize impacts during the upcoming streetscape improvements later this summer. AT&T and Nicor will complete their work on Lake Street by the end of this week. Lastly, Nicor continues their work to replace their aging gas main along Euclid and the alley south of Lake Street.

  • The streetscape project continues in downtown Oak Park with underground water and sewer work between Marion Street and Forest Avenue. The electrical contractor will be installing new light pole foundations east of Forest towards Kenilworth this week and into next week. As a reminder, Lake Street is closed to vehicular traffic from Harlem to Forest Avenues. Local access on Maple, Marion, and Forest will be maintained for pickups from local businesses. Access to the Downtown Oak Park area and parking garages/lots will be maintained utilizing Ontario St, Marion St, Forest Ave, and North Blvd. Through traffic should follow the detour to Chicago Avenue utilizing Harlem and Ridgeland Avenue.

  • The Lake Street Resurfacing Project (Austin to Euclid) has completed the placement of new curb, sidewalk, and ADA ramps on the south side between Euclid and Austin. The contractor will begin pouring the new curb, sidewalk, and ADA ramps along the north side the rest of this week and into next week. Roadway work on Scoville Avenue between Lake Street and South Boulevard in in full swing with concrete work finishing up this week and pavement restoration next week. Pavement milling and replacement on Lake Street will follow in June and July. Landscaping will follow as weather permits into the fall of 2020.

  • The Lake Street construction field office at 971 Lake Street remains closed to the public until current health restrictions are lifted. The Village will update the business community regarding this change and the consultants overseeing the projects will be available by phone or email to answer any questions.

 



More Progress, More Work, More Better Lake Street

posted May 15, 2020

Important notice: Oak Park Avenue will remain closed until early June for advanced streetscape work.
Other progress to note:

  • Water main and sewer work at the Lake Street and Oak Park Avenue intersection was completed this week, with restoration and clean-up to follow.

  • AT&T and NICOR should finish their utilities work in the intersection next week, while NICOR continues work to replace an aging natural gas line on Lake between Euclid and Linden.

  • We’re starting early on streetscape prep work in the Hemingway District, which means the Lake and Oak Park intersection will remain closed until early June. Beginning ahead of schedule to install underground electrical conduits across the intersection and construct a section of the proposed intersection pavement will minimize the duration of future intersection closures and reduce construction impacts later this summer when businesses in the area (hopefully!) look to reopen full-time.

  • In downtown Oak Park, the streetscape project is in full swing, with underground electrical work for signals and lighting at Marion and installation of light pole foundations on Lake between Forest and Kenilworth.

  • The resurfacing phase of Lake continues with the placement of new curb, sidewalk, and ADA ramps on the south side between Euclid and Austin. Removals of sidewalks and ramps along the north side of Lake Street will begin next week as the new walks on the south side are re-opened.

 



Better Lake Street Reward Program Starts Today, as Progress on Lake Street Continues

posted May 1, 2020

  • Save your receipts when you support local businesses in Downtown Oak Park, Hemingway District or Pleasant District in the Better Lake Street Reward Program. It starts today through August 31, 2020. Receipts from online shopping and delivery purchases will be accepted.
  • Streetscape work in downtown Oak Park continued this week on Lake between Harlem and Forest, which is closed to traffic. Light pole and traffic signal foundations and underground conduit installation will continue the next two weeks. Work on the irrigation system and structural soil will begin next week. 
  • Water main and sewer work and utility upgrades continue at Lake and Oak Park Avenue, with temporary pavement restoration starting next week.
  • Work to resurface Lake between Euclid Avenue and Austin Boulevard started this week with the installation of electrical conduits and foundations for additional traffic signal equipment and sidewalk/curb removals between Austin and Humphrey Avenue. Work on ADA ramps, new sidewalks and curbs will continue through June with roadway resurfacing to follow in July. Landscaping will follow as weather permits into the fall of 2020.
  • Better Lake Street is exploring opportunities to expedite and/or modify the scope of work to minimize impacts to the business districts when the stay-at-home order expires.



Lake Street Resurfacing Phase Starts Early

posted April 22, 2020

The resurfacing phase of the Lake Street Improvement Project was scheduled to start in June when the school years for nearby schools ended and after OPRFHS graduation. With the State of Illinois closing all schools for the rest of the academic year, Village officials approved a plan to start the resurfacing phase early. 

Preparation work began this week for the resurfacing phase which includes upgrading sidewalk ramps, adjusting sewer manhole frames, curb and gutter repairs, removal and replacement of existing roadway surface with a new asphalt pavement, replacement of existing pavement markings, restoration of damaged parkways caused by construction, and landscaping.

Traffic will be impacted as follows:

  • Two-way traffic on Lake Street will be maintained at all times.
  • Minor traffic delays may occur when Lake Street is periodically closed to parking or traffic to allow for safe construction activities.
  • Lake Street residents with driveway access to their properties that are impacted by curb or sidewalk removals will receive temporary parking passes allowing parking on adjacent streets.
  • Residents with Z4 overnight on-street parking permits will receive a parking pass to park on Lombard and Taylor avenues beween Lake and Ontario Street.

Work on the resurfacing phase is scheduled to be complete by September. Final landscaping will be completed by October.



Better Trees, Better Lake Street

posted April 14, 2020

tree grateTo build a Better Lake Street with better trees requires a fresh start, for important reasons.

First, the streetscape phase of the Lake Street Improvement Project includes landscaping plans to create more shade and greenery by planting 48 new trees to replace 40 old trees whose growth was stunted. 

The trees on Lake Street have outgrown their tree pits, which would harm their long-term health. Think of the old trees as a plant that had outgrown its pot. Leaving the trees in place would eventually damage them as well as new streetscaping elements that will be installed this year. 

Second, if we left the trees in place, underground utilities would eventually damage the trees and we would have to remove both the tree and surrounding infrastructure. 

A better approach is the design the Village approved, which includes new trees that complement those on Marion Street, tree pits with special soil that enhance tree health, and installation of a drip-line irrigation system. The combination will enable the trees to establish a deeper root system that will allow them to grow larger and healthier than the previous trees ever could.

The planting schedule brings a variety of new trees, shrubs, ornamental grasses, groundcovers and bulbs to Lake Street. The 48 new trees to replace the old include: Maples (6), European Hornbean (5), Ginkgo (6), Thornless Honeylocust (5), Kentucky Coffee Tree (4), London Plane Tree (6), white Oak (8) and Elm (8).

In the long run, planting new trees on Lake Street will create a more functional and better experience for Oak Park than if we had kept the old trees.

 


 

Streetscape Work Set to Start Week of April 6

posted April 5, 2020
The streetscape phase of the Lake Street Improvement Project is set to start. As a result, Lake Street will be closed to all traffic and parking; sidewalk access for pedestrians will remain open. Streetscape work includes street resurfacing, sidewalk and curb replacement, new lighting, traffic signals, trees, landscaping, street furniture and amenities on Lake Street between Harlem Avenue and Euclid Avenue. Work is scheduled to begin the week of April 6. Lake Street will be closed to all vehicles and parking between Harlem and Forest avenues starting as early as April 8, weather permitting, and is scheduled to reopen in late July 2020.

During the closure:

  • Patrons of Lake Street businesses and buildings are urged to use parking at Holley Court Garage, Lake and Forest/Vantage Garage, and Lot 10 on North Boulevard between Marion and Forest.
  • Special needs and loading zones will be coordinated on a case-by-case basis between the businesses/tenants and the contractor(s).
  • Sidwalks will remain open.

Local and thru-traffic detours have been established. See detour map below. Click here for local detour inset map.

LakeSt detour

 


Lake Street - Oak Park Avenue Intersection Closure

posted March 29, 2020
OPAve detour

As part of the sewer and utility phase of the Lake Street Improvement Project, the Lake Street and Oak Park Avenue intersection will be closed beginning Wednesday, April 1, 2020 (weather permitting) and is expected to last 7 to 10 days, as opposed to the original four-week schedule.

Multi-stage closures of the Lake-Oak Park intersection had been scheduled to start the week of April 13, but the coronavirus stay-home order has significantly reduced vehicle/pedestrian traffic and temporarily closed some businesses in the area. Project managers and the Village of Oak Park approved a plan to close the intersection earlier than had been scheduled, add crews to work simultaneously, and compress the construction schedule to mitigate impact and inconvenience. Traffic detours will take effect as shown in the map.

Other impacts during the closure of the intersection include:

  • Access to restaurants and businesses with pick-up and delivery service will be maintained or coordinated on a case-by-case basis.
  • Pedestrian access to sidewalks will remain open.
  • The Avenue Parking Garage will remain open.
  • Access to the Oak Park Avenue Green Line Station will remain open.
  • Pace has been advised of the intersection closure and will have more information about temporary bus stops for routes 309 (Lake Street) and 311 (Oak Park Avenue).
  • Bicycle traffic will be rerouted to Euclid and Kenilworth avenues.

Lake Street Improvement Project Continues

posted March 25, 2020
The water and sewer main replacement phase of the Lake Street Improvement Project continues between Euclid and Oak Park avenues. Crews have made the sewer main connection and will be focusing on completing the water main work on this block. In addition, Nicor has begun work in the alley between Ontario and Lake to upgrade the gas main in this area in advance of the forthcoming streetscape project.

The Village is working with the contractor to expand street closures associated with this water and sewer work while the businesses are closed pursuant to the Governor’s Order, so that we may complete work in this portion of the project as soon as possible. The Avenue Parking Garage will remain open and accessible during the work, but parking will not be allowed in the construction zone on Lake Street.

The streetscape project is scheduled to start work next week with the installation of traffic control and installing temporary traffic signals in Downtown Oak Park. The contractor is anticipating the closure of Lake Street between Harlem and Forest starting on April 8, 2020, weather permitting. Notifications to the businesses and residents in the area regarding the work starting are being distributed.

The Lake Street construction field office at 971 Lake Street remains closed to the public until current health restrictions are lifted. The Village will update the business community regarding this change and the consultants overseeing the projects will be available by phone or email to answer any questions.


Water and Sewer Main Replacement

stage1 detourposted March 5, 2020
The water and sewer main replacement phase of the Lake Street Improvement Project has begun between Euclid and Oak Park avenues. A traffic lane remains open for westbound traffic. However, eastbound traffic will be detoured around the work site via North Boulevard from Oak Park Avenue to Euclid Avenue. In addition, southbound traffic on Euclid will be detoured west on Lake Street for the next few weeks as work in the Euclid intersection is completed. The Avenue Parking Garage will remain open and accessible during the work, but parking will not be allowed in the construction zone on Lake Street.


stage1 detourUtility Work

posted February 19, 2020
The water and sewer main replacement project is set to begin the week of March 2, 2020, weather permitting, on Lake Street between Euclid Ave. and Oak Park Ave. Westbound traffic will remain open, with a detour for eastbound lanes at Oak Park Ave. The Avenue parking garage will be open and accessible throughout this time, with no parking on Lake Street in the construction zone.