Oak Park starts South Marion construction

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By Marty Stempniak

Staff Reporter

A massive reinvention of the 100 block of South Marion got rolling on Monday, which will leave the block in a state of constructive chaos for the next six months.

The Village of Oak Park is investing roughly $5.5 million in the stretch between South Boulevard and Pleasant, adding brick streets, granite sidewalks and an overhead canopy of decorative lights. Officials hope the revamped street will tie the block to its neighbor to the north, where Oak Park conducted a similar project four years ago, and entice building owners to invest in their properties.

Village hall is also replacing the "aging" water and sewer lines under the street. Traffic and parking will be temporarily disrupted during construction, according to a village news release, but businesses will remain open.

The village board approved the project in a 4-3 vote last month. Village officials said they hope the work will be done by Thanksgiving.

Reader Comments

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Posted: June 9th, 2011 1:48 PM

Excited to see the new street and sidewalks. It will be well worth it. Just like N Marion. Energy is back and business is booming. This means the occupancy is Up Up Up

epic lulz  

Posted: June 9th, 2011 1:41 PM

I went through there a couple days ago, and I was completely amazed by how poorly planned the closure is. And it's going to be like this for 6 months? Who the hell is running this chicken outfit? God help the businesses along that block.


Posted: June 9th, 2011 11:43 AM

Not sure the Village Trustees have anything to do with the width of the walkways? Are you serious. I am sure this is a safety issue so that work can be done and we can have walkways.


Posted: June 9th, 2011 10:26 AM

@Ray Johnson...thanks for the e-mail address. Would've been nice to get a Facebook/Twitter post, signs in the area allowing residents to have input on the closings before the barriers went up though. You really had no idea the walkways would be so narrow until you had to walk through.


Posted: June 9th, 2011 9:49 AM


Double Standard  

Posted: June 9th, 2011 9:29 AM

Do cul-de-sacs get issued because we oppose a bad project that got pushed through on politics, not the merits of the project?


Posted: June 9th, 2011 9:19 AM

Cul-de-sacs dont get issued becasue you oppose a good project. Cul-de-sacs get issued for deserving reasons and maybe that will be the case down the road.

Double Standard  

Posted: June 9th, 2011 7:57 AM

So it's okay to cut down trees to make Ray Johnson's back yard pretty, but not okay to cut down trees to give the neighbors of the Comcast building the requested cul de sac? Why am I not surprised at the double standard.

Ray Johnson from Oak Park  

Posted: June 9th, 2011 7:21 AM

If anyone wants to report a concern about construction during this process they are invited to contact Loretta Daly at: dalyl@oak-park.us


Posted: June 9th, 2011 6:28 AM

Maybe the TIF money can be given to the OPRF HS to pay for educating kids from Chicago. Kind of like the way the village is bringing people from Chicago to live in the Comcast Site. http://pioneerlocal.suntimes.com/5844636-584/oprf-claims-family-lives-in-chicago-sues-for-30k-in-tuition.html

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: June 9th, 2011 12:12 AM

"Death Wish" reference for a report on a construction project? That's a heckuva stretch!


Posted: June 8th, 2011 11:21 PM

Give the $5.5M to Paul Kersey and let him clean up Oak Park!

Craig Chesney  

Posted: June 8th, 2011 9:51 PM

To the powers that be! There is a large village lot to the west of Marion Street on South BLVD. It is currently a 24 hr permit parking lot. If all of the lot is not reserved for 24 hr permits, could it be made available for Marion Street business' customers to use?

Bob from Oak Park  

Posted: June 8th, 2011 8:11 PM

6 months! How many of those businesses will fail during that time. I hope the village notified all the utilities about the construction so they won't tear up the street right after it's finished like the last time they refinished South Marion Street!

OP Resident  

Posted: June 8th, 2011 5:22 PM

Marion St. Wine and Cheese shop has major clout at Village Hall and is a favorite haunt of Village President Pope. Those planters aren't going anywhere.

Marlene from OakPark  

Posted: June 8th, 2011 5:20 PM

Yep, it's a mess. They cut down the trees,too. Hope there is a plan to plant some new ones. And OPers should make a point to visit the businesses on this block. THEY ARE OPEN DURING CONSTRUCTION.


Posted: June 8th, 2011 2:33 PM

Gotta Move, I agree on the planters...same with the Carleton on the other side.

Gotta Move Out  

Posted: June 8th, 2011 2:10 PM

I agree this is poor timing, but hey this is Oak Park. Yes ther is little to no room to walk and what does not help is Marion Street Wine and Cheese having those HUGE planters taking up most of what is left of the sidewalk! It's bad enough that I have gotten to know a few of the pedestians a bitt too intimately, but then to be accosted by those planters?! MOVE THEM!


Posted: June 8th, 2011 2:06 PM

I'm sure it will look great and hopefully be more pedestrian friendly when finished. But they pretty much ruined the neighborhood for the summer and planned poorly. Pedestrians are using the alley because there is no room to walk 2 across or get a wheelchair/stroller through. It's a major connection to the CTA/Metra and downtown OP. They should have closed one side then the other, left more room on the sidewalk, created a less dangerous alt-route through the alley, anything. Not cool.

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