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Mayor Rahm Emanuel today joined Aldermen Roberto Maldonado and Walter Burnett for the Grand Avenue Reconstruction Project ribbon cutting ceremony in Humboldt Park. The project rebuilt the 1.5 mile stretch of roadway and sidewalks along Grand Avenue from Chicago Avenue to Pulaski Road, improving traffic flow and enhancing pedestrian safety.
“These are more than investments in infrastructure; they are investment in our residents and the future of our City,” said Mayor Emanuel. “Chicago remains committed to reconstructing, repaving and rehabbing of roads because it makes our streets safer and helps revitalize neighborhoods.”
The reconstruction project focused on widening the roadway to better accommodate truck and bus traffic common in the mixed-use commercial/industrial corridor.
“Grand Avenue is a major artery that carries thousands of cars and trucks through our community each day,” said Alderman Burnett. “This project gives us the opportunity to reinvigorate the neighborhood and improve the climate for businesses and also enhance quality of life for residents.”
Enhancing pedestrian safety was also taken into account with the construction of new sidewalks and ADA ramps, as well as the installation of modernized traffic signals at eight intersections.
“This project represents a badly needed investment in our Ward,” said Alderman Maldonado. “It sets the stage for businesses to grow and create jobs and will make it easier and safer for everyone who uses this corridor whether they are in vehicles or on foot.”
The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) is managing the reconstruction work along Grand Avenue. The latest project included the planting of more than 150 trees. There are new energy-efficient LED street lights and a test strip of permeable sidewalks to reduce run-off in one section of the project area. “CDOT is pleased to bring this project to substantial completion today,” CDOT Commissioner Rebekah Scheinfeld said. “The project is already enhancing quality of life and traffic safety for the neighborhood’s residents and providing improved lighting at night. It has also enhanced the climate for job creation by making it easier to move goods in and out of the neighborhood.”
The project is the fifth of eight overall improvement projects planned for Grand Avenue between Fullerton and Des Plaines and is funded through Federal road funding and local funds.
The Grand Avenue Reconstruction Project is part of Mayor Emanuel’s goal of Building a New Chicago. Over the last six years under the leadership of Mayor Emanuel, CDOT, the Department of Water Management and private utilities have repaved more than 1,800 miles of city streets and alleyways. Of the total, more than 400 miles of arterial routes have been repaved or reconstructed.