By Anna Lothson
Major improvements to the Marion Street and Ridgeland Avenue viaducts are underway, including new LED lighting and fresh coats of paint.
The most noticeable change in the area, perhaps, is bike shelters — the orbed structures being installed at Ridgeland not far from the Green Line el stop. The shelters are part of a $1.2 million project that includes cleaning and painting portions of the bridges, new LED lighting, installing decorative panels under the Marion viaduct, and creating sheltered bike parking at South Boulevard and Ridgeland.
Some of those projects are underway, according to Village Engineer Jim Budrick, and some will be happening in the next few weeks. The village was responsible for roughly $360,000, or a 30 percent match of the grant received from the Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program. Budrick reported the sheltered bike parking should be available for use by the end of the week.
A similar grant was secured by the village a few years ago, Budrick wrote in an email, noting it was used for viaduct enhancement at Oak Park Avenue.
He also reported that additional sheltered bike parking projects, also funded by a grant, are scheduled to take place next year near the Blue Line station entrances at East Avenue and Oak Park Avenue, as well as on North Blvd between Marion Street and Forest Avenue by the Metra station.