NORTH CENTER — Expect parking and traffic to be difficult along Western and Culyer avenues throughout the fall, as city crews replace aging water mains for the next few months.
Water main replacement will start in the 2400 block of West Cuyler Avenue in late August, according to the city’s water department. By mid-September, crews will begin working on the east side of Western Avenue between Irving Park Road and Montrose Avenue.
The project to replace decades-old infrastructure is a continuation of the work happening in nearby Irving Park.
Work on Cuyler Avenue may be completed by late October. The full project on Western Avenue is expected to take about four months, and barring any unexpected construction delays could be completed by late December, according to the water department.
Crews will generally work 7 a.m.-3 p.m. weekdays. During construction, parking restrictions will be enforced on the east side of Western Avenue and north side of Cuyler Avenue as needed, said Josh Mark, Ald. Matt Martin’s (47th) director of development and infrastructure.
Northbound traffic on Western will be also reduced to one lane. Neighbors on Cuyler are encouraged to avoid the street as much as possible during construction, though crews will work with residents as much as possible to access the street, Mark said.
When crews are not actively working on the project area, any holes created will be backfilled to grade. But water department officials suggest neighbors still try to find parking elsewhere as equipment will be taking up the street for the duration of the project.
Construction on Cuyler will also impact the northern curb and parkway of the street so residents are strongly encouraged to remove any landscaping to avoid it getting damaged by construction equipment.
The project will involve scheduled water shutoffs during the transfer of a building’s water service to the newly installed water main.
“Given the age of the existing mains, installed in 1894 and 1907, it is very likely that breaks in the mains lead to emergency temporary shutoffs as well,” Mark said.
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