Traffic on First Avenue between 31st Street and Ogden Avenue will revert back to normal — at least for a few weeks — beginning Monday afternoon, Riverside’s village manager confirmed on Friday.
Peter Scalera said he received word from the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago that the agency’s sewer access project, which began in late June, has been completed.
On Monday, Sept. 8 Kenny Construction will return First Avenue to its natural configuration, opening the north sidewalk and crosswalk for pedestrians. The changeover should be completed by the time school lets out Monday afternoon, said Scalera.
While the Illinois Department of Transportation can now move ahead with its planned improvements to the intersection, Scalera said that work is not scheduled to begin until Oct. 6.
In the meantime, the village will at least temporarily abandon the crossing plan adopted by Riverside police at the beginning of the school year. Students will once again cross First Avenue in the north crosswalk until further notice.
Scalera said IDOT will likely begin work to widen the north side of Forest Avenue and west side of First Avenue to create new turn-only lanes this fall. Such work will probably necessitate the village to reintroduce its two-crossing guard, south side crossing scheme once again.
“As we get closer to the IDOT work, we’ll see if we need to change the crossing back,” said Scalera.
But for at least a month, motorists and pedestrians will be spared the back-ups and frustrations seen near First and Forest avenues in recent weeks.