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Lost amid the hubbub over a building collapse on Harrison Street earlier this month, the village is installing razzle-dazzle crosswalks to try and liven up the Oak Park Arts District.
Village hall is spending about $11,000 per intersection to install the markings at Lyman, Lombard and Ridgeland, according to Village Engineer Jim Budrick. They're made from a special material called "hot tape," a thermal plastic that’s heated up with a torch and then melted into the pavement.
Elgin-based AC Pavement Striping finished Ridgeland and Lombard last week, and is wrapping up at Lyman this week, Budrick said. The $11,000 price tag also includes resurfacing the asphalt intersections.
Village Manager Tom Barwin came up with the idea for the markings, after seeing similar ones used in other countries.
"We've taken a situation that is just a crosswalk — plain, reoccurring, simple, every intersection has one — and shown how, with just a little flair and creativity, it can be made something special," Barwin told Wednesday Journal in April.
Budrick hopes the red, green and blue hot tape will stay in place for about five years, but the village will find out just how durable the material is when it starts snowing in a couple of months.
"We think it's an enhancement to the neighborhood, and we'll keep an eye on them and see how well they hold up through our wonderful winter weather," he said.
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