LINCOLN PARK — Neighbors around the corner and down the block from the Elevate Lincoln Park construction site have found their cars coated with dirt on Sheffield Avenue, while other cars parked adjacent to the future luxury apartment building on Altgeld Street have remained relatively clean.
"Is the ridiculous amount of residual filth spread by the Elevate Lincoln Park construction worthy of the neighborhood's attention?" neighbor Nick Allen wondered. "There has been a lot of construction in the neighborhood over the years, but I haven't seen any spread mud and concrete dust like this."
The cause, however, was anything but cloudy on Wednesday. Trucks loaded with dirt from the site passed regularly down Sheffield Avenue. Some had their loads covered with a tarp, while others clearly did not.
In either case, they kicked up dirt on the street and spread a brown film of their own on cars parked along the street.
"Whenever we get a complaint, we contact the developer, and they're usually very responsive," said Ald. Michele Smith (43rd). "What the developers are required to do as part of our community agreement surrounding their construction obligation," Smith added, is "water down the construction, and they're required to have a street sweeper clean the street."
But Allen said that hasn't really helped.
"Some days they have two or even three of those sweepers," Allen granted, "but they do little more than kick up more dust."
Smith insisted there had not been "an outpouring of complaints," and that one, most likely from Allen, had been the only one her office had received, in spite of how widespread the dirt coating was on cars on Sheffield between Altgeld and Fullerton Avenue to the south.
Elevate Lincoln Park, 930 W. Altgeld St., is set for completion next year and replaces the old Lincoln Centre condominium (the one with the never-used rooftop tennis courts previously seen from the CTA "L" tracks).
Baker Development Corp. is handling the project and did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Smith said the trucks carting dirt are "supposed to be covered," but in any case she expected the dirt problem to soon be over, with the excavation complete, caissons laid for the foundation and actual construction set to begin.
"We really think that what the problem is is that they're just done with the caisson work," Smith said. "So the problem should clear itself up in another day.
"The developer has assured us that they are going out there with hoses and other things to hose the cars down," she added. "And they've done it in the past as well. I expect this problem to take care of itself because they're done with this phase of the work."
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