EDGEWATER — City crews will throw a wrench in the commute of thousands of North Side dwellers starting Tuesday when water main repairs on North Sheridan Road begin in earnest.
The Department of Water Management plans to replace 2,837 feet of an 8-inch water main between Thorndale Avenue and West Sheridan Road.
The old pipes were installed in the 1890s.
On Monday, crews blocked one southbound lane and dug holes through asphalt near the west curb line. Traffic was backed up around the curve at West Sheridan adjacent to Loyola University.
The bulk of construction would begin Tuesday and last about a month if all goes as planned, according to a letter sent to residents by Tom LaPorte, the water department's assistant commissioner.
LaPorte said two southbound lanes would remain open during morning rush-hour traffic, and two northbound lanes would remain open during the evening rush.
But during the day, North Sheridan would be reduced to only two lanes. Left turns would not be allowed during lane restrictions.
Motorists are encouraged to use Broadway as an alternate route during construction.
Work will begin 8 a.m. weekdays and end by 4 p.m. Construction is scheduled for the weekends of Aug. 10 and 24, according to the alderman's office, but no weekend work will occur during the Chicago Air and Water Show or Labor Day weekend.
The city said there are three planned water shutoffs to buildings on the west side of Sheridan during the project, and affected buildings will get 24 hours advance notice.
The closure should give commuters a taste of what's to come this fall during the planned resurfacing of North Sheridan, between Hollywood Avenue and West Sheridan.