ROGERS PARK — Crews are beginning work on a complete redesign of Howard Street in an effort to improve the street’s usefulness to all types of commuters.
The second phase of the Howard Street rebuilding project will begin this month, when crews will begin rebuilding the street starting in Rogers Park, officials from Chicago and Evanston announced in a community meeting for the joint-city project. The project spans Howard Street from Winchester Avenue west to Sacramento Avenue. Howard Street is the dividing line between Chicago and Evanston.
Last year, crews replaced water mains along Howard between Target Access Drive to California and Western Avenue to Ridge Boulevard. With that work complete, the rebuilding of the street can now begin, said Sat Nagar, senior project manager with the city of Evanston.
Work will include reconstructing the sidewalks and streetscape, adding new lighting, safer crosswalks and improved bike lanes and bus stops, Nagar said.
New traffic lights will be installed at Howard and California, and at Howard and Damen Avenue. Six curb “bump outs” will be constructed at key Howard Street intersections, giving pedestrians more sidewalk space while crossing the street. The existing bike lanes on Howard east of Western will be turned from shared lanes with cars to protected lanes with a buffer between the two modes of transportation, according to project documents.
The rebuilding project will be conducted in three stages, starting with the Rogers Park leg.
From April to May, the section between Winchester Avenue and Ridge Boulevard will be rebuilt. From June to July, work will move to between Ridge and Western Avenue. From August to September, crews will work on the stretch between Western and the Target store access drive near Sacramento Avenue, Nagar said.
After the streetscape is rebuilt, crews will resurface the street and construct the curb bump outs from September to October, when the two-year project is scheduled to wrap up.
One portion of Howard Street will remain open in both directions during this leg of work, officials said. Parking on Howard will be restricted, but access to Howard Street businesses will be maintained during the project.
“It’s really exciting to see this next phase coming along,” Ald. Maria Hadden (49th) said at a community meeting on the project Tuesday. “Especially the phase that includes so many of the improvements that will have a direct benefit to neighbors.”
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