Long-needed road reconstruction projects along with pavement resurfacing, bridge repair and improving drainage will mark Cook County’s 2015 road construction season.
Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle unveiled a number of road and bridge projects planned by the Cook County Department of Transportation and Highways for the upcoming spring and summer months, including completing major reconstruction of Crawford Avenue from Devon Avenue to Oakton Street in Lincolnwood and Skokie.
The 2015 projects carry an approximate price tag of $38 million for projects in 28 communities and cover approximately 56 lane miles of roadway.
“Our road program this year addresses both completion of ongoing major projects and bringing roads and bridges throughout the County up to standard,” Preckwinkle said. “We have also specifically targeted projects in some areas that contribute directly to job retention and economic development, a key goal for our administration.”
Major projects expected to conclude or that will be undertaken this year include:
- Finishing work on Crawford Avenue, which began in 2014. The Crawford project, now about two-thirds complete, will reconstruct seven lane miles of Crawford, as well as improve drainage and provide better driveway and sidewalk access for residents who live along the roadway.
- Reconstruction of Center Street, the trucking gateway to CN Railroad’s massive intermodal facility, in Harvey. The project will add a lane and relieve chronic flooding problems on the road.
- Reconstruction of 151st Street east of Vincennes Road in Harvey and Phoenix to facilitate access to the Sterling Lumber facility.
- Extending Joe Orr Road, which currently ends at Torrence Avenue, to Burnham Avenue in the village of Lynwood. The project calls for construction of a four-lane roadway.
- Rehabilitation of the concrete pavement along Hintz Road, from Elmhurst Road to Milwaukee Avenue, as well as repairs to the bridge over Ecko Lake.
- Replacement of the Roselle Road bridge deck over the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway, along with traffic signal improvements.
Additional 2015 pavement preservation and rehabilitation projects include: Busse Road from Golf Road to Lonquist Boulevard in Mount Prospect; Winnetka Road east of the Interstate 94 bridge to Hibbard Road in Northfield; Otis Road from Brinker Road to Dundee Road in Barrington Hills; Kedzie Avenue from 175th to 183rd streets in Hazel Crest and Homewood; Sauk Trail from Cicero Avenue to Governors Highway in Richton Park; and both 103rd and 107th streets from 88th Avenue to Kean Avenue in Palos Hills.
Bridge repairs are planned for Hintz Road and Echo Lake (Wheeling), Roberts Road at Stony Creek (Palos Hills), Ridgeland Avenue at Interstate 80 (Tinley Park), and Cottage Grove Avenue over North Creek (Glenwood).
Preckwinkle also noted that along with repairing and improving existing roads and bridges, the Department of Transportation and Highways is continuing its work on development of Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP). Once completed and approved, the LRTP will be the first time Cook County has had such a plan in more than 70 years.
“By the end of this year, we expect to have a roadmap that establishes how we can best prioritize projects and utilize resources to ensure that Cook County meets the transportation needs of its citizens, connects population bases with jobs, and produces a sustainable transportation future,” Preckwinkle said.”
Cook County’s Department of Transportation and Highways, formerly known simply as the highway department, was established in 1913 with one mile of concrete road and two employees — the superintendent and his secretary. It was created by the State of Illinois to “pull the state out of the mud” and “build a system of hard roads for the state.” Today, the Department oversees 557 miles of roads and highways, 134 bridges, 351 traffic signals and seven pumping stations.