By Bob Uphues
Anyone living in or traveling through North Riverside's west end in late June and July should be prepared to encounter a bit of construction in the form of road resurfacing and water main installation.
By late June, said Public Works Director Tim Kutt, ground will break on a street resurfacing project along 13th Avenue from Cermak Road to Forestview Drive.
Last month, village trustees awarded the roughly $180,000 paving contract to M&J Asphalt, of Cicero. The project is being funded with motor fuel tax revenue the village collects annually from the state of Illinois. M&J Asphalt also won the MFT-funded project to resurface 22nd Place, 23rd Street and 25th Street on the west end of the village in 2018.
Kutt said the project will include removing the asphalt, inspecting and repairing any deteriorated sections of the sub-base before resurfacing. Work will also include replacing failed sections of curb and gutter and repairing drainage structures.
Around the same time, work will begin on the replacement of the water main that runs down 3rd Avenue from Cermak Road to 24th Street.
The roughly $387,000 project includes abandoning the 6-inch water main in the street and installing a new 8-inch main in the east parkway, just off the curb. Kutt said that the installation of the new pipe should not require removal of trees and that the village is trying to avoid tearing up any driveways but some spot impact may be unavoidable.
Grass and concrete will be restored at the end of the roughly six-week project. Water service interruptions should be brief when the village connects copper service lines from the B-box to the main.
Once that project is complete, perhaps in August, work will commence on Phase 3 of the Cermak Road water main replacement. During the past two summers, a new 12-inch water main has been installed from First Avenue to 9th Avenue, replacing the old 8-inch main.
This year, that water main installation will continue in the parkway along the south side of Cermak Road between 9th Avenue and 11th Avenue. The long-range plan is to install a 12-inch main all the way to 17th Avenue, then south to Forestview Drive/26th Street and then east to First Avenue to complete a loop of 12-inch main around the west end of the village.
Construction should take less than a month, said Kutt, and should not result in any lane closures on Cermak Road, though construction could temporarily impact intersections between 9th and 11th avenues as well as the Cermak Road entries/exits to Mother's Day Restaurant and Tipster's Village Pub.
Both of those businesses have alternate means of entry and exit, said Kutt, "So they shouldn't be incapacitated at all."
The Cermak Road water main project, even though it's just two blocks long, will cost $433,335.
The village board awarded both water main replacement projects to Palos Park-based Riccio Construction. Together, the water main projects will cost $820,125. Of that amount, a $200,000 federal Community Development Block Grant will be used to help fund the 3rd Avenue water main replacement. The remainder is coming from the village's general operating fund.
It's the second straight year that Riccio was the only bidder for the Cermak Road work and the second year in a row that the company's bid for that work came in higher than the village engineer's estimate.
Riccio Construction has been one of the largest contributors to the VIP Party's political committee over the years, donating $8,800 to the fund since 2005, according to the website Illinois Sunshine. Only one other donor, Paramedic Services of Illinois, has contributed more. PSI has contributed $9,235 since 2010, according to the website.