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Hyde Park, Woodlawn, South Shore

$3 Million Project To Replace Century-Old Water Mains In South Shore Kicks Off In October

Residents along 67th and 69th streets and Cornell, East End and Ridgeland avenues will see temporary water shutoffs, traffic closures and parking restrictions while the pipes are replaced.

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SOUTH SHORE — The city’s water department will install more than a mile of water main pipes in South Shore starting next week, part of a project that will continue for the next six months.

Department of Water Management crews will replace 5,390 feet of pipes — which date back to 1914 — along the following streets:

  • 67th Street from Stony Island to Cregier avenues.
  • 69th Street from Cornell to Ridgeland avenues.
  • Cornell, East End and Ridgeland avenues from 67th to 69th streets.

The $3 million, two-phase project is set to be finished in April, water department spokesperson Megan Vidis said.

The first phase will take place October to December, and the second phase starts in December and run until the project’s completion, Ald. Leslie Hairston (5th) said at a ward meeting Tuesday.

Officials will give 24 hours’ notice ahead of service interruptions, which will be needed to connect residents to the new water main.

Notices will be placed on residents’ doors or front entrances the day before their water is temporarily shut off, with an expected timeframe for the interruption, Vidis said.

“However, in the event of an emergency shutdown during construction, we may not be able to give you prior warning,” officials said in a statement.

Residents must flush their water systems once their homes are switched to the new system. For instructions on how to do that, click here.

Affected blocks will be closed to through traffic during construction hours, which will typically be 7 a.m.-7 p.m. A travel lane will remain open for local traffic when crews are not working.

Parking will be restricted as needed during work hours. Residents may park when crews are not working, as long as the cars are moved before work begins the next day.

The South Shore water mains were selected for replacement based on their age and history of breakdowns, Vidis said. Water mains are not made of lead, though the service lines leading from the mains to residents’ homes may contain lead, she said.

There are about 380,000 lead service lines in Chicago. City code required Chicagoans to install lead pipes until they were banned by the federal government in 1986, according to WBEZ.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot set a goal of replacing 650 lead pipes this year, but as of early September, the water department had only removed three, according to the Tribune.

The city offers two programs helping homeowners replace their lead service lines at a discount or for free. For more information on the programs and how to apply, click here.

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