ROSCOE VILLAGE — The Western-Belmont viaduct may have escaped the wrecking ball in 2015 but its reprieve was temporary — the overpass is slated for demolition in early 2016.
Residents in need of a refresher on the "Western Avenue Corridor Improvement Plan," last presented in summer 2014, are invited to attend a community meeting set for 7-9 p.m. Jan. 11 in Lane Tech's cafeteria, 2501 W. Addison St.
Representatives from the Chicago Department of Transportation will be on hand during the open house to provide details and answer questions about the design and anticipated construction schedule.
The most significant, and controversial, aspect of the plan is the removal of the deteriorating overpass at Western-Belmont-Clybourn, which will be replaced with a five-lane, grade-level intersection. The viaduct opened in 1962 as a way to ease congestion around the now defunct Riverview Amusement Park.
The improvement plan also calls for the reconstruction of Western Avenue between Waveland Avenue on the north and Jones Street on the south (Jones is south of Diversey). Sidewalks will be widened, pedestrian countdown signals will be installed, and trees, benches and bike racks will be added to the streetscape.
The city has estimated that construction will last 1½-2 years.
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