Greetings residents, friends, community members:
As we close out the summer season and transition into the holidays, I have been reflecting on different conversations that I’ve had with many of you. It gives me tremendous pride as your mayor to maintain an open-door invitation to hear from our awesome community and I’m grateful to have heard from many of you! I would like to provide an update on four major construction projects currently underway throughout our village.
NICOR GAS IMPROVEMENTS:
Nicor has contracted K&S Industries to replace over nine miles of natural gas main from Cermak Rd to 26th Ave and from 1st Ave to 19th Ave. This enormous project essentially covers our entire west end of town and will benefit 1,278 North Riverside customers both residential and commercial!
Our current system operates at 10 psi (pressure per square inch). Our region has experienced record-breaking frigid winters - polar vortex locking us under extreme deep freezes for extended periods of time. Some areas feeling fifty degrees below zero which resulted in several gas services freezing at critical times. The new system will operate at 60 psi, eliminating possible service interruptions during extreme temperatures. High pressure systems are also much safer to operate and eliminate the dangers associated with older low-pressure systems. As you may have noticed K&S is temporarily covering all the excavations with a black cold patch asphalt for the winter months rather than leaving them gravel. They are intentionally leaving the repaired areas slightly elevated for the stone backfill to settle and avoiding depressions. Upon completion of the entire project, they will restore all concrete and sod areas that have been disrupted. They are utilizing the former 8th Ave community church property as a base of operations to help expedite this massive project. This will literally shave a couple hours per day off the total length of this project! Weather permitting this project is scheduled to be completed in the summer of 2022.
KOMAREK SCHOOL RENOVATION:
Komarek School celebrates their recent victory passing a referendum to renovate. Once completed, this three-phase, three-year project will produce a brand-new state of the art school campus! Phase one is the construction of the addition to the west building. Phase two will be to remodel the existing west building. Phase three will be the demoltion and rebuild of the east building, including a parking lot. This will alleviate many of the parking/traffic issues during school session and events. I’d ask all residents especially parents picking up children from school to slow down in this area to avoid potential accidents. The project is currently on schedule.
AT&T FIBER OPTIC IMPROVEMENTS:
Valor Underground Construction is installing a new fiber optic line for AT&T. This is the blue & red cables that you see located throughout town. Currently, this project is temporarily on hold, but will resume again after the Thanksgiving holiday. Valor has already completed the new fiber optic cables from Forestview Drive to 1st Avenue on 25th Street. In early December, they will travel down 26th Street from 1st Ave to Harlem Ave and will include the alley just North of 26th Street from Desplaines to Hainsworth. This improvement will bring faster services to residents as well as improve communication for all village services.
26th STREET WATERMAIN UPGRADE:
The Village’s contractor, Riccio Construction Company, is working to eliminate an 8” water main along 26th Street from Lewe Ct to Veterans Dr. There will be temporary lane closures during times of construction along with sidewalk closures. Please be aware of changing traffic patterns. All residential and commercial water services will be removed from the 8” main and attached to an existing 12” main. This project should be completed before winter. All concrete and sod locations will be restored by the village’s contractor.
While this is understandably inconvenient for all of us, we as a village will see tremendous benefit from the outcomes, long into the future. Please note that several sidewalks and roadways may be interrupted during these projects and by-passing closures could result in physical injury. This may also be a great opportunity to teach children the importance of not walking through construction zones. Often operators of heavy equipment cannot see you especially if you’re standing directly behind their trucks. Your safety and well-being are paramount! I have asked all contractors to add fencing/guarding around all potential hazards, and to avoid parking their equipment and work vehicles in the streets. Thank you for helping us bring these tremendous improvements to our community!
Please join me on December 1st in front of the Village Commons for our tree lighting ceremony at 6:00pm followed by an evening of fun festive family activities. I’d also like to take this time to wish all of you a very happy and safe holiday season!
Mayor Joe Mengoni