Work begins this week on a major street improvement campaign throughout North Riverside. The $1.9 million effort is believed to be the largest single road improvement project undertaken in the village at one time.

When complete in roughly three months, the village will have entirely resurfaced or patched about 50 city blocks worth of residential roadway. Areas receiving attention include a majority of the streets east of Desplaines Avenue and north of the Canadian National Railroad tracks; 25th Street between Hainsworth and Desplaines avenues; all of the residential streets in the neighborhood west of Desplaines Avenue between 28th and 31st Streets.

West of First Avenue, the plan is to resurface or patch the entire length of 26th Street/Forestview Avenue as well as 25th Street between 2nd and 5th avenues; and portions of 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th, 11th and 12th avenues. All of 14th and 15th avenues are scheduled for resurfacing.

On Aug. 1, the North Riverside Village Board awarded the pavement construction contract to Hillside-based Orange Crush LLC. The company submitted the lowest of five bids the village received for the work.

Orange Crush’s bid of $1.6 million was approximately 21 percent less than the $2 million the village’s engineering firm estimated for the work. The low bid allowed the village to revise the scope of work somewhat and to add an $18,000 line item for injecting joint sealant into the concrete base of roads being improved to prolong the life of the road bed.

Engineering costs for the street improvement work cost another $200,000, according to Public Works Director Tim Kutt.

In addition, a roughly two-block length of 21-inch combined sewer main that runs underneath 14th Avenue will be lined to shore up the pipe and prolong its useful life. That work will cost about $143,000, Kutt said.

Saw cutting work was slated to begin Monday. The plan is to keep streets open to traffic throughout the construction period. However, at times when the road surfaces are bring milled off and replaced, streets will be closed to traffic. Kutt said the village would notify residents to let them know when that work would be completed.

The village plans on issuing up to $3.3 million in alternate revenue bonds this fall to pay for the improvements. A portion of the bond proceeds will also be used to buy new computer software for the village’s finance department and to replace the police department’s air-conditioning unit.

Sales tax revenues would be pledged to pay down the debt service on the bonds, so the bond issue will not result in a property tax increase for residents.

North Riverside hopes to sell the bonds later this fall. 

Boil order issued after water main breaks

A major water main break last week caused North Riverside officials to issue a boil order that lasted for about 38 hours before being given the all-clear by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.

The boil order was issued at about 4:30 p.m. on Aug. 16, when the village discovered a large break in the 8-inch water main that runs along Cermak Road at 7th Avenue.

About an hour earlier, North Riverside officials began receiving calls from residents on the west end of town that water pressure had dropped sharply. 

It took more than three hours for public works crews to repair about a 10-foot section of water main along Cermak Road. 

Eastbound Cermak Road was limited to one lane while the repair was being made, making typically heavy rush-hour traffic worse.

Public Works Director Tim Kutt said workers also discovered that the water main break had resulted in a 3- to 5-foot section of sewer line failing in that same area. 

After the water main was repaired, workers repaired the sewer line.

Throughout the process to repair the water main, the village worked to maintain water pressure in the system, Kutt said.

“We were confident the test results would going to be fine,” Kutt said of decision to issue the boil order. “But I’m not going to take a chance. It was a huge break. There was no need to risk people getting sick.”

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