LOGAN SQUARE — The Logan Square water main project that has reduced Armitage Avenue to one-way traffic for months — and aggravated some neighbors and business owners in the process — is expected to finally wrap up soon, so long as the quarry workers strike doesn’t interfere with the work, according to the city.
Since January, crews have been working to replace the century-old water main on Armitage Avenue between Kedzie and Western avenues, which has left the street closed to westbound traffic.
The construction project has been a source of frustration among some neighbors and business owners on the stretch who think it’s made navigating the street difficult and led to a reduction in foot traffic.
Last month, city spokeswoman Megan Vidis told Block Club the project was targeted for completion at the end of June after delays caused by bad weather, supply chain disruptions and scheduling issues with utility companies.
But when a Block Club reporter followed up last week, Vidis said she “misspoke.” The project was actually always supposed to end by the end of July, Vidis said.
Unfortunately for discontented neighbors, the ongoing quarry workers strike could cause even further delays, Vidis said.
Around 300 members of International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150 walked off the job June 7, alleging unfair labor practices against Lehigh Hanson, Vulcan Materials and Lafarge Holcim. The strike has limited the supply of asphalt, concrete and other building materials.
On Monday, more than two weeks after the initial completion date, Armitage Avenue was still a construction zone with orange cones blocking westbound traffic as they have for the past six months, an unwelcome sight for many in the neighborhood.
Still, not all neighbors are eager for the construction project to wrap up. Some have said it’s led to a vastly improved pedestrian and cyclist experience on the street because there are fewer cars on the road.
But local business owners are experiencing a significant downturn in sales as the construction project drags on.
“This is a hard time already to be a business owner. There’s a lot of other things going against smaller businesses right now, so having the street closed for almost six months is definitely not lovely,” Emma Zwissler, owner of the skincare and wellness shop The Sunday Standard at 2837 W. Armitage Ave., previously said.
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