North Riverside is expected to break ground next month on a comprehensive makeover of the parking lots that serve the Village Commons campus, a project that is expected to be completed in phases through mid- to late-November.

On July 17, the North Riverside Village Board voted unanimously to award a $1.53 million construction contract to Palos Heights-based MYS Inc., which was the sole bidder for the work.

The bid actually came in about 30% below the engineer’s estimate of $2.2 million, which means the village’s share of the cost will come in at $435,639, which is a savings of a little more than $160,000.

The bulk of the cost — $1.2 million – will come from the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, which is partnering on the project through its Green Infrastructure Partnership Program. The partnership was announced earlier this year.

Work must be completed prior to the end of the calendar year, and is now expected to commence in mid-August, said Public Works Director Vince Ranieri, with crews first reconstructing the small parking lot in front of the Village Commons as well as the strip of 15 spaces used by fire department employees, about a dozen spaces in front of the public works building and a small parking area in front of the police station.

In all phases, the asphalt is being removed and will be reconstructed using permeable pavers. When complete, the village will have converted 71,000 square feet – about 1.6 acres – from asphalt to permeable pavers, diverting a combined 200,000 gallons of water from the village’s sewer system by detaining it in a roughly 17-inch rock base topped by bricks.

The village will wait until after Fall Fest, which is scheduled for Sept. 15, before tackling the main parking lots behind the Village Commons and in front of the police station.

“The Fall Fest is a pretty big deal for us, so there was no way we were going to disrupt that in any way, shape or form,” Ranieri said.

One of the two main parking lots will be available at all times to those visiting the municipal campus, said Ranieri.

“There will only be one phase going on at one time,” Ranieri said. “It should take three to four weeks per lot.”

In addition to the change in paving surfaces, there will be some other design changes. The circular concrete planter behind the Village Commons will be removed and the curb line will be realigned to create a proper drop-off/pickup area closer to the main entry.

A new sidewalk will also connect the Village Commons to the bike path.

Third green parking lot on tap in Riverside

The village of Riverside will break ground on its third green parking lot project in 2024 after receiving a pledge of $256,000 from the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago to repave the commuter parking lot along the south side of the Burlington Northern-Santa Fe Railroad tracks east of the Arcade Building.

Referred to by the village as Parking Lot 8, the roughly 14,000 square feet of pavement comprising about 35 spaces wraps around the rear of the commercial buildings at 12, 20, 32, 36 and 40 E. Quincy St.

The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago notified Riverside in June that it would provide more than $250,000 for the village to reconstruct Parking Lot 8 (shown above) south of the railroad tracks using permeable brick pavers. Work will be completed in 2024. | PROVIDED

The existing asphalt pavement is badly deteriorating and had been eyed for a green makeover back in 2021 when the village applied for a grant from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency to reconstruct the parking lot using permeable pavers.

While that grant didn’t pan out, the MWRD’s Board of Commissioners in June approved entering into an intergovernmental agreement with the village to provide the funding through its Green Infrastructure Partnership Program.

It’s the second time the MWRD has partnered with the village to repave one of its commuter parking lots. Back in 2019, Riverside partnered with MWRD to repave its main commuter parking lot, west of the train station, with permeable brick pavers.

The MWRD provided about $560,000 toward the $1.1 million main commuter parking lot project, with the West Suburban Mass Transit District chipping in another $375,000.

The total cost to repave Parking Lot 8 with permeable pavers is estimated at about $513,000, so the village will have to come up with the balance or obtain additional grant funding to defray the cost.

On July 20, the Riverside Village Board approved spending $70,750 for Christopher B. Burke Engineering Ltd. to perform the engineering and design of the new parking lot as well as manage the construction, which will take place sometime next year.