HUMBOLDT PARK — Mayor Rahm Emanuel and local leaders broke ground over the weekend on the latest phase of the Grand Avenue reconstruction project, which aims to transform the road between Des Plaines Street and Fullerton Avenue.
The mayor was joined by Ald. Roberto Maldonado (26th), Ald. Walter Burnett Jr. (27th) and representatives from the Chicago Department of Transportation at the Saturday ceremony, which marked the start of the fifth phase of the $13.6 million project. There are eight phases total.
In this phase, which is expected to be completed by the end of the year, crews will reconstruct a 1.5-mile stretch of Grand Avenue from Chicago Avenue to Pulaski Street.
Plans include widening the roadway, constructing new sidewalks and installing accessible ramps and traffic signals. The signals will be installed along Division Street, Monticello Avenue and Grand Avenue.
“Grand Avenue is a major artery that carries thousands of cars and trucks through our community each day,” Burnett said in a prepared statement.
“This project gives us the opportunity to reinvigorate the neighborhood and improve the climate for businesses and also enhance quality of life for residents.”
During construction, traffic will be reduced to one lane in each direction.
The city is planning to close the railroad viaduct at Grand Avenue and Homan Street next summer to accommodate for construction. There will be a detour via Division Street and Kedzie Avenue.
In addition to roadway work, crews will also be planting 149 new trees along Grand Avenue, as well as installing energy-efficient LED street lamps and permeable sidewalks along 20 percent of the project area.
The project is being paid for through federal dollars and TIF (Tax Increment Finance) funds.