A construction sign indicating sewer work will begin starting March 2 is seen on Oak Park Avenue just north of Roosevelt Road on Monday, March 1, 2021, in Oak Park, Ill. | ALEX ROGALS/Staff Photographer

With the completion of the comprehensive Lake Street improvement project, the village of Oak Park has moved on to the next infrastructure area in need of renovation: Oak Park Avenue. From spring into fall, the street will undergo utility and resurfacing work – a portion of which will be paid for with federal funds.

“The improvements this year are really three separate contracts,” said Bryan Kutz, assistant village engineer. 

Beginning March 8, Oak Park Avenue will undergo work to upgrade sewer and water mains that are better than a century old. The sewer work is separated into two contracts, paid for using village funds. The sections have been dubbed the north and south utility projects. The street’s existing water mains are from the early 1900s. 

The village of Oak Park has contracted the Cerniglia Company to handle the north section in an amount just over $1.9 million. The north utility project consists of the area of Oak Park Avenue between Augusta Street and Chicago Avenue, as well as the area between Randolph Street and Madison Street. 

Swallow Sewer & Water Construction is handling the south utility project, in a contract worth just over $2.4 million. The south utility project consists of water and sewer upgrades made to the portion of Oak Park Avenue between Jackson Boulevard and Roosevelt Road.

Both the north and south sewer work will occur concurrently.

The project’s third contract, worth about $2 million and given to Arrow Road Construction, involves resurfacing Oak Park Avenue from North Avenue to Roosevelt Road, with the exclusion of between Pleasant Street and Ontario Street. That section is tentatively scheduled for resurfacing in 2023.

“The village received about $2.5 million in federal funding in 2016 to resurface Oak Park Avenue,” said Kutz. 

Kutz expects the village’s share of the cost to resurface will amount to between $400,000 and $450,000. 

The resurfacing portion will include making improvements to Oak Park Avenue to broaden accessibility under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Resurfacing work is scheduled to begin in June and last until October.

“The road was last resurfaced in 2004, 2005,” said Kutz. “And it’s really in need of maintenance at this point.”

During periods of road closures, construction crews maintain local traffic access along the entire stretch of Oak Park Avenue. 

“The general scope of the road project is your kind of traditional street resurfacing work,” said Village Engineer Bill McKenna.

As with its Lake Street project, the village of Oak Park has enlisted the services of Prescott Group LLC to facilitate communication with the public regarding the work. The public can find progress updates, as well as maps and timelines for the project on its website: www.opaveanew.com.

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