Lake Street reconstruction continues

Workers carry on amid COVID-19 shutdown

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By Stacey Sheridan

Staff Reporter

Despite mounting positive COVID-19 cases and a statewide order to stay at home, reconstruction on Lake Street in Oak Park continues. Crews started work March 3, updating utilities, as well as removing and replacing sewers installed in the 1890s.

"The contractors are installing both the sewer and water main from Oak Park [Avenue] to Euclid [Avenue]," said Village Engineer Bill McKenna. McKenna says crews expect to have underground work finished by mid-May.

The streetscaping portion extends on Lake Street from Harlem Avenue to Euclid Avenue, with an expected completion date of November.

"The timeline is still essentially the same," said McKenna.

The village received $3 million in federal funding for the streetscaping which is planned to start at the end of this month.

"They would be starting work with doing temporary traffic signals," said McKenna. "That would not be closing the roadway yet. We'd be doing some electrical work early on in the job and then go from there."

Lake Street has seen minimal vehicular and pedestrian traffic lately, due to precautionary restaurant closures and social distancing in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to McKenna, construction workers are maintaining safe distances between each other to help protect them from catching the virus.

"They're relatively small crews," said McKenna. "In general, workers are not right on top of each other. There is space between workers just as a part of their normal kind of day-to-day operations and they're outside."

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Reader Comments

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Terence Jones  

Posted: March 26th, 2020 1:25 PM

However, D97 postponed the work in some of the schools, despite the fact that there is no one there. Go figure.

Kris Hansen Gallagher from Oak Park  

Posted: March 26th, 2020 12:52 PM

I am happy to hear this. The continued work means income for those workers' families. It also means that the businesses, particularly restaurants, that are right at this intersection won't be further penalized after the shelter in place order lifts. i wish all the work could be done right now while we aren't driving much!

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