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Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago Construction Begins

 Construction on the new facility began in July 2013.
Construction on the new facility began in July 2013.
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DNAinfo/Lizzie Schiffman

STREETERVILLE — After a series of community meetings and months of preparations, construction on the new Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago building kicked off in Streeterville Monday.

The formal groundbreaking for the site at 355 E. Erie St. was July 1, but the real work begins this week, with barricades blocking off parking lanes and stretches of sidewalk on Erie and Ontario streets and McClurg Court. Trees adjacent to the site will also be removed during construction.

The Ontario Street CTA stop used by the 120 and 121 buses will be removed for the majority of the three-year construction project, which is scheduled to be completed by the fall of 2016, and the new Ability Institute will open in early 2017.

For the remainder of 2013, Power Construction will erect the building's substructure, which includes "mostly foundation work," said Bob Gallo, Power's senior vice president, at a recent community meeting.

Barricades surrounding the site should be removed "in time for the 2015 holiday season," he said.

In response to community concerns over traffic flow, construction trucks will be based outside of Streeterville, idling on the streets surrounding 355 E. Erie St. only to make drop offs, according to an email sent out Monday by Melissa Hoffmann, the Rehabilitation Institute's
community relations liaison.

In total, there will be between 50 and 75 trucks leaving the site daily, including 15 to 20 concrete trucks "coming in and out during the 10-week excavation from October through the end of the year," said Chuck Blazek, Power's senior superintendent and the community liaison for the project, at a neighborhood meeting in June.

"We're trying to get the trucks into the site as fast as we possibly can," Blazek said.

Construction hours will also be restricted from "8 a.m. to early evening" Monday through Saturday, with work on Sundays scheduled "as required for timely completion of the project," according to Hoffman's email.

Residents with concerns about noise level, truck traffic or other issues are encouraged to contact Ald. Brendan Reilly's (42nd) office, or the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago's community relations office at (312) 238-7522.

"We'll do our darndest to make this as pleasant as we possibly can," Gallo promised residents in June.