An ambitious roadway project on Roosevelt Road — championed by Oak Pak, Berwyn and Cicero — has been recognized by an international development group.

The three communities are teaming up on a $9.5 million redo of Roosevelt between Harlem and Austin, hoping to change the appearance and perception of the auto-dominated stretch. The project, which broke ground last month, will include installing decorative streetlights, benches, bike racks and trash bins.

The project was recognized on Sept. 28 by the International Economic Development Council at a conference in Columbus, Ohio. The group — which Oak Park says is the world’s largest network of economic development professionals — pegged the street redo for its “excellence in economic development,” according to a village press release.

“The City of Berwyn, Town of Cicero and Village of Oak Park are showing that they are at the forefront of the economic development profession and are using innovative and effective practices that can be replicated in other communities,” William Best, chairman of the development council, said in a statement.

About $4 million of the project is being funded through a grant from the Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program, along with another $3 million from the Illinois Department of Transportation. The remainder of the contract is being split between Berwyn ($1.3 million), Oak Park ($1 million) and Cicero ($250,000).

Work is expected to wrap up by August 2011.

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