Oak Park Avenue Improvement – Irving Park Road
to Forest Preserve Drive

Chicago Department of Transportation – Division of Engineering


Using TIFF funds from the City of Chicago, Oak Park Avenue was reconstructed using a Complete Streets approach. The reconstruction provided a three-lane road section with two 10-foot travel lanes and a striped median to accommodate frequent left-turn access for driveways. Buffer-protected bike lanes (5-foot wide with a 2-foot striped buffer) were also provided along both sides of the roadway inside of new curb and gutter. In order to maximize pedestrian accommodations, a curb-attached 8-foot wide sidewalk was constructed along the western side of Oak Park Avenue, and a 6-foot wide sidewalk was constructed along the eastern side of the roadway, separated by a grass 7-foot parkway. A new LED street lighting system was also provided.

This project was unique in that the roadway is under the maintenance and jurisdiction of IDOT but the improvement was funded entirely with City money. Therefore, an “official” Phase I Study was not required, but many of the same studies and coordination were needed. Although the project was processed through IDOT’s permit section, the Bureau of Programming approved the proposed geometrics; the Bureau of Traffic approved the traffic signal modifications and the Hydraulics Unit approved the design of the new drainage system. Furthermore, excavation in a State right-of-way required that a Preliminary Environmental Site Assessment (PESA) be conducted. Huff & Huff, Inc. completed the PESA and Preliminary Site Investigation (PSI) based on Recognized Environmental Conditions (RECs) identified by the site assessment.

Civiltech completed the mini Phase I which successfully implemented the City’s Complete Streets approach while satisfying IDOT’s vehicular capacity and drainage requirements. The Phase II plans, specifications and estimates were then prepared. After the project was bid for construction in the Spring of 2015 it was discovered that an unmarked Read Dunning cemetery existed within the middle portion of the project corridor. Civiltech then obtained the specialized archeological services of Louis Berger and McKissack & McKissack to develop a Phase I Archaeological Reconnaissance Survey, avoidance plan, and archaeological monitoring plan to address unanticipated finds during the construction phase. The proposed improvements were also redesigned to avoid excavation within the cemetery limits. The redesign was closely coordinated with IDOT Cultural Resources and the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency.

Funding

  • Local

Scope of Services

  • Roadway and Highway Design
  • Bikeway and Pedestrian Facilities Design
  • Traffic Engineering and Impact Studies
  • Interagency Coordination
  • Preparation of Contract Plans, Specifications and Estimates
  • Traffic Signal Design