At a press conference in Englewood Friday, CDOT Commissioner Gabe Klein announced a $4.1 million project to repave roads under 14 viaducts in 13 different wards across the city (average cost $250,000 per viaduct).
He explained that seeking federal funding for this project would free up more locally generated funding for neighborhood street repair and repaving projects. The entire project is federally funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).
Crews are doing complete road reconstruction on approximately 4,500 linear feet of roadway at the following locations (see map below):
- 600 W Englewood Ave
- 1130 E 79th St
- 3600 W 60th St
- 8125 S Elliott Ave
- 600 W 64th St
- 1530 S Loomis St
- 1530 S Racine Ave
- 7500 S Morgan St
- 7500 S Peoria St
- 4815 W Wilson Ave
- 2200 W 83rd St
- 730 E 71st St
- 400 W 29th St
- 6400 S Dorchester
Work at each site is being done in a 30 day time frame, and includes: demolition of the existing roadway, curbs, gutters and sidewalks; any needed repair and replacement of sewer lines and other utilities; sidewalk replacement; ADA curb ramps; and complete reconstruction of the road. The new construction will be all concrete, with a 6″ reinforced sub-base and 4″ top surface. (This configuration will last longer than standard asphalt.) Work at the first site began on March 19, and the final site is to be finished on September 14.
Klein said, “The existing roadways at these locations looked like Swiss cheese. They are some of the worst viaducts in the city.” He emphasized the public safety aspect of reconstruction projects, because they eliminate hazards for pedestrians, bicyclists and drivers.
This project will be complemented by work to be done under a new 2 year CDOT plan to add pedestrian safety improvements, including countdown timers and leading pedestrian intervals at more stoplights, and increased educational efforts to help solve the problem of pedestrian accidents and fatalities.
A few reporters asked Klein about the proposal to change the speed limit for residential streets to 20 mph. He expressed a wish that this proposal would open a constructive dialogue with aldermen and residents about pedestrian safety. He talked about the pedestrian survival rates after collisions with vehicles at various speeds, and the need to protect our most vulnerable road users (see below).
Page 22 from the Chicago Forward CDOT Action Agenda shows a graphic indicating the likelihood a person will survive a collision with an automobile at certain speeds.
Klein also mentioned that a similar viaduct repaving project is in the works for 2013. Details for that project are not yet available.
View 2012 CDOT viaduct projects in a larger map
Grid Chicago is a blog about sustainable transportation matters, projects and culture in Chicago and Illinois, by John Greenfield and Steven Vance since June 2011. We switched to writing at Streetsblog Chicago in January 2013.
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