Groundbreaking launches INVEST South/West Commercial Avenue improvement project

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Chicago Construction News staff writer

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A $43 million streetscape improvement project in South Chicago has launched construction, to revitalize historically underserved neighborhoods. The CDOT-led project will transform Commercial Avenue from 83rd Street to South Chicago Avenue and 92nd Street between South Harbor Avenue and Anthony Street.

The goal is to upgrade aging infrastructure and create a more livable and vibrant commercial corridor.

Improvements along Commercial Avenue will include:

  • full width resurfacing
  • curb extensions that create safer and shorter crossing distances for pedestrians.
  • bus bulbs that allow buses to pick up and drop off passengers without leaving the travel lane, which helps save time for transit riders.
  • raised bike lanes.
  • street lighting.
  • tree planting and landscaping.
  • ADA ramps and crosswalks.
  • traffic signal upgrades and improved signage.

Construction is expected to be completed in phases by the end of 2025.

The flagship development project, Galleria 89, is expected to break ground next year on Commercial Avenue – a $36.4 million project from 548 Development, planned for approximately .6 acres of underutilized properties on the 8800 block of South Commercial Avenue. The project will create a four-story building with 48 affordable apartments and rehab an existing, three-story building with 10 affordable apartments.

The project is the second INVEST South/West streetscape project to break ground, following Chicago Avenue in Austin.  In total, CDOT is implementing $280 million in streetscape improvements along 12 key commercial corridors on the South and West Sides that incorporate infrastructure, pedestrian safety, and placemaking improvements.

INVEST South/West launched in fall 2019 with a $750 million City commitment toward priority commercial corridors in Auburn Gresham, Austin, Bronzeville, Greater Englewood, Greater Roseland, Humboldt Park, North Lawndale, New City, South Chicago, and South Shore. Since then, it has generated more than $2.2 billion in public, private, and philanthropic investment commitments.

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