Riverside residents curious about, or who have some thoughts they’d like to share, about roadway and streetscape improvements scheduled later this summer in and around the intersection of Riverside and Bloomingbank roads, can get a closer look at an open house planned for Thursday, April 12 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. in Room 4 of the Riverside Township Hall, 27 Riverside Road.

The improvements, which seek to realign crosswalks, traffic patterns and parking near the train station to enhance pedestrian safety, are just part of what is expected to be a busy construction season later this summer.

People can drop in any time during the open house to ask questions about and discuss the proposed improvements with village officials and project consultants.

The plan calls for eliminating the long crosswalk across Bloomingbank Road from the Burlington Northern-Santa Fe Railroad crossing, moving it west and shortening it, which should also prevent cars from backing up on the tracks as they wait for people to cross the street.

In addition, there will be an expanded brick-paver plaza east of the train station, with a raised planter and bike racks. The brick pavers will extend west in front of the station, eliminating parking immediately south of the platform and creating a safe area for pedestrians there.

On the east side of Riverside Road, the streetscape will undergo a complete makeover to mirror improvements north of the tracks along Longcommon Road.

The $540,000 station area roadway and streetscape improvements are being funded in part by a $378,000 federal Surface Transportation Program grant. Riverside officials are aiming to have construction begin in September, with work wrapping up in late November.

Commuter lot to get ‘green’ makeover

It’s going to be a busy construction season next fall at Riverside’s downtown train station. In addition to the streetscape improvements, the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago has informed the village that it will be awarding a grant to help fund the reconstruction of the main commuter parking lot west of the train station.

Instead of simply resurfacing the lot with asphalt, the village will create a “green” parking lot using permeable brick pavers, which comes at a greater up front cost, but is expected to last decades longer.

The MWRD has not yet specified its grant award for the project, which the village is estimating will cost $1.2 million to complete. In March, the West Suburban Mass Transit District informed village officials that Riverside had been awarded a $325,000 grant that it can use toward the parking lot project and/or a separate project scheduled for 2018 to reset the brick pavers on the train station platform and install new hand railings there.

The West Suburban Mass Transit District had already awarded a $235,000 grant to help fund the platform/railing project.

Village officials say they are hoping to coordinate the construction schedules for all of the improvements slated for the area around the train station.

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