UPTOWN — Construction on the highly anticipated Argyle Streetscape project is set to begin July 6, according to Ald. Harry Osterman (48th).
In an email to constituents, Osterman said crews will start by working on the north side of Argyle Street, starting at Broadway and working east.
The goal of the $3 million project is to transform Argyle Street between Broadway and Sheridan Road into Chicago's first "shared street" by elevating the road to the height of the sidewalk so pedestrians, drivers and cyclists can co-exist.
To do that, crews will widen the sidewalk on both sides of the street by about three feet to 15 feet and narrow the road in each driving lane. Parking lanes will remain about eight feet across, but some parking spaces will be lost.
The streetscape should be completed in spring 2016, according to the alderman's office.
Construction has been split into the following phases:
Phase 1 from July 6 - Oct. 6: Broadway to Sheridan Road, north side of Argyle Street
Phase 2 from Oct. 6 - Nov. 20: Broadway to Kenmore Avenue, south side of Argyle Street
From Nov. 20 until spring: No construction due to winter conditions
Phases 3/4 in spring of 2016: Kenmore Avenue to Sheridan Road and Argyle Street
Each phase will begin with removing all of the sidewalks, curbs and gutters.
Crews will also be adding new elements like permeable and traditional pavers, trees, benches, bike racks, planters and lighting.
Mike Claffey, spokesman for the Chicago Department of Transportation, said the project also means improvements to Winthrop Street and Kenmore Avenue.
Throughout all of the phases, Argyle Street will only allow one-way traffic going eastbound, Osterman said. Drivers traveling westbound must take detours, which will be posted throughout the neighborhood.
Residents will be able to park on the south side of the street "where possible," according to Osterman. Pedestrians are also encouraged to use the south side of the street during construction.
The Argyle Red Line station will remain open during construction and so will all of the businesses along Argyle Street. But Osterman said there will be "some challenges" for individual businesses when construction is happening outside their door.
"We do expect that pedestrians and vehicles will continue to have access during construction," Claffey told DNAinfo Chicago.
Residents are encouraged to attend a community meeting June 30 at Furama Restaurant, 4936 N. Broadway, at 6:30 p.m. to see the scope of the project. A representative from CDOT and Speedy Gonzales, the contractor who is working on the project, will be there to answer questions.
Osterman is also hosting a business owners-only meeting on July 1 at 2 p.m. at Hon Kee Restaurant, 1064 W. Argyle St., to answer questions.
A couple business owners previously told DNAinfo Chicago that they were negatively impacted by the construction on the century-old water main — which was necessary work before starting the streetscape. One owner called the construction "really bad" and "awful" for her family owned shop.
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