By Bob Uphues
While the reconstruction of the main Metra commuter parking lot continues in downtown Riverside, a few road construction projects will also kick off in the next month.
April 15 is reported to be the start date of the village of Riverside's relatively modest road improvement program for 2019, funded in part by motor fuel tax revenues and partially by a grant via the federal Surface Transportation Program, which funds improvement of busier streets designated "collector" routes.
Bensenville based-Lindahl Brothers has been awarded an almost $788,000 contract to resurface Barrypoint Road, from Bloomingbank to Fairbank; Forest Avenue, from the bridge to Longcommon Road; and Herrick Road, from Longcommon to North Cowley.
In addition to replacing the asphalt surface, repairs also will be made to deteriorated sections of curb and gutter, to manholes and to drainage structures. ADA-accessible sidewalk ramps will also be placed at intersections.
The concrete work will kick off the project, followed by the asphalt resurfacing. Public Works Director Edward Bailey said the project is scheduled to wrap up by the end of June.
First Ave. construction coming
Meanwhile, said Bailey, the village has received notice that the Illinois Department of Transportation will hold a pre-construction meeting with its contractor to set the schedule for a project to resurface First Avenue from 43rd Street in Lyons to the Eisenhower Expressway.
This year's project represents the first half of a two-year effort by IDOT to resurface First Avenue from 43rd Street to Des Plaines River Road, which is just north of North Avenue.
Resurfacing from the Eisenhower Expressway to Des Plaines River Road will take place in 2020. In addition to resurfacing, work will include spot repairs to concrete, manholes and drainage structures.
Motorists can expect rolling daytime lane closures, which will reduce traffic to one lane in each direction and increased travel times.
Downtown project on deck
Riverside Community Development Director Sonya Abt told the Landmark that D Construction, the general contractor for the pedestrian safety improvement project in and around the downtown Metra train station south of the Burlington Northern-Santa Fe Railroad tracks has submitted a proposed schedule to IDOT to begin work May 1.
Abt said she was not certain if IDOT had OK'd that schedule, but confirmed that the plan is still for the work to wrap up prior to July 4.
"If it's not done by then, it will have to be leveled off and cleaned up for the Fourth of July and then wrapped up afterward," Abt said.
The roughly $670,000 project includes creating a brick paver plaza with raised planting beds and bike racks on the west side of Riverside Road to move the left-turn lane farther south and shorten the crosswalk across Bloomingbank Road.
The streetscape on the west side of Bloomingbank Road to East Quincy Street will be excavated and replaced with brick pavers, planters and furniture to match the streetscape north of the tracks.
The project will also serve to separate pedestrian and vehicle traffic in front of the train station on Bloomingbank Road and eliminate the drop-off lane that passes under the station's porte cochere.
Bloomingbank Road will be resurfaced following the streetscape improvements.
Work on the Metra parking lot to the west is scheduled to wrap up prior to Memorial Day weekend. The village has been using the Riverside Swim Club's parking lot on a temporary basis to accommodate commuters with parking permits. The swim club's season opens on Memorial Day weekend.