The Oak Park Board of Trustees is poised to spend tens of thousands of dollars to fix cracked bluestone sidewalks that were installed a few years ago along Marion Street in downtown Oak Park.
Village Manager Cara Pavlicek pulled an item from last night’s agenda that requests $108,000 for sidewalk improvements to Marion Street near South Boulevard. She said about a third of the funds would be used to fix cracked crosswalks installed in the business district a few years ago.
Pavlicek said staff is still working to get the original subcontractor to pay for the fixes.
“We want to complete some conversations with the original contractor, whether they’re able to bring back in the subcontractors to maybe make some repairs even though we’re outside the warranty timeframe,” Pavlicek said.
John Wielebnicki, director of public works, said the village already has paid about $200,000 to fix a speed table on Marion that also used the bluestone.
“We’re replacing that bluestone with granite,” he said. “We’ve been making some repairs in-house with our own forces, and there needs to be a little more work on there, but we’re actually going to have a conversation with that contractor and see what he might be willing to do as far as that work.”
Oak Park Mayor Anan Abu-Taleb told Wielebnicki to relay the message to general contractor George Sollitt Constrauction Co. that “those contractors who have done this work, if they don’t stand behind the goods and services they provide to the village, I think they’re going to end up risking no doing business in the village of Oak Park going forward.
“These are very expensive projects and they should last a lot longer than two years and five years and 10 years.”
Village Trustee Colette Lueck said the village board decided to invest in the high-price bluestone “were told were high-quality materials and the rationale was that they would last a long time.”
“This is more than annoying,” she said, adding that the costly bluestone “was intended so you wouldn’t have the ongoing maintenance and the materials would last for a long time and nobody expected to spend this kind of money on repairs in this short a timeframe.”