OLD IRVING PARK — A busy Milwaukee Avenue intersection on the Northwest Side that was scheduled to reopen at the beginning of this year will remain closed for now.
Metra crews closed full access for cars, pedestrians and cyclists on Milwaukee Avenue between Kilbourn and Kenneth avenues in September to speed up construction on the Grayland station, 3729 N. Kilbourn Ave., and replace the 122-year-old railroad bridge.
Officials expected to reopen the Milwaukee Avenue strip in early January, but the reopening date was pushed back to mid-February because work is taking longer than expected, Metra spokesperson Michael Gillis said.
Following bridge demolition, the new bridge foundations, abutments and bridge structure will be built along with the new Grayland Station platforms, Gillis said.
“Traffic will be impacted for the remainder of the project, which will continue into early 2024,” he said in a statement. “Metra is striving to finish the overall project sooner and to reduce the number of full or partial closures on Milwaukee.”
Drivers, cyclists, pedestrians and the No. 56 bus have been rerouted to Addison Street during the street closure. A temporary two-way concrete bike lane barrier was added along Addison Street between Milwaukee and Kilbourn avenues with pavement markings to provide a safer path for cyclists, though some barriers have been moved and debris and trash has accumulated in the lanes.
The Northwest Side stretch has received safety upgrades after drivers killed two bicyclists nearby.
City crews recently installed a speed camera in front of Schurz High School after neighbors and alderpeople had long asked for one.
Stop signs, more visible cones to separate the bike lane, a pedestrian island and bike barriers were also added in the latter half of 2022, although some concrete barriers were damaged shortly after installation in October. The barriers are set to run along Milwaukee Avenue until Irving Park Road at Six Corners but are still not complete.
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