Work to completely rebuild Howard Street will run through Fall 2021. Credit: Shamus Toomey/Block Club Chicago

WEST RIDGE — Work has begun on a massive project to rebuild Howard Street in West Ridge and Rogers Park, with construction planned to last for more than a year.

Crews on Monday began work on the project near Howard Street and California Avenue. It’s the first portion of the street’s rebuilding scheduled to stretch into Fall 2021.

Evanston and Chicago are partnering on the reconstruction of the arterial border street connecting the two cities. The work will include the installation of a new water main, improved streetscapes and pedestrian areas and new traffic lights at two intersections. The project spans from Sacramento Avenue to Winchester Avenue.

The work will be conducted in three stages, starting with the installation of a new water main, according to a project flier Evanston officials released. The water main will be installed between Target Access Drive to California and Asbury Avenue to Ridge Avenue.

Water main work is already underway and is scheduled to last until October 15, according to Evanston’s project flier. During this duration, traffic will be diverted to the south side of Howard, with one lane remaining open in each direction. Parking restrictions on Howard will be implemented throughout the project, but business access will remain.

Phase two is scheduled to begin in April 2021 and include work on a new streetscape, sidewalks, a bike lane, street lighting and traffic signal improvements. New traffic lights will be installed at Howard and California and at Howard and Damen Avenue.

The streetscape work is scheduled to wrap up in September 2021. After that, cosmetic improvements including asphalt repaving and pavement markings will occur and last through October 2021, according to the city of Evanston.

The project is being funded with $6.5 million in federal transportation grant money, with Evanston kicking in as much as $4.9 million and Chicago $250,000, according to city of Evanston documents.

The massive project to overhaul Howard Street began at Howard and California Avenue. Credit: SHAMUS TOOMEY/BLOCK CLUB CHICAGO

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Rogers Park, Edgewater, Uptown ReporternnRogers Park, Edgewater, Uptown Reporter Twitter @jaydubward