Chicago Construction News staff writer
A ground-breaking ceremony was held recently to launch construction on the Lawrence Avenue streetscape project, which extends from Western Avenue to the Chicago River. Work will include infrastructure upgrades that will improve safety for all road users and create a more walkable, inviting street that supports economic development.
Improvements will include widened sidewalks, new ADA ramps and crosswalks, bump-outs to shortened pedestrian crossing distances, a new contraflow bike lane, and new plaza space.
“This project will create a safer space for people walking and biking and more inviting for the small businesses that are essential to Lawrence Avenue. CDOT worked closely with the 40th Ward and community stakeholders throughout this project, and we look forward to seeing it come to life,” said CDOT Commissioner Gia Biagi.
The streetscape will improve safety by adding bump-outs to shorten crossing distances and calm vehicle speeds, new ADA ramps and crosswalks, a pedestrian refuge island at Francisco and Lawrence, and a new contraflow bike lane on Francisco that will provide a low-stress connection to the North Shore Channel Trail.
“Through the Lawrence Streetscape, along with the $16 million Lincoln Avenue Streetscape and Arts District project, the Leland Greenway, and improvements to Western, the neighbors of Lincoln Square and Lincoln Avenue North will see what I envision to be a rejuvenation of the whole neighborhood that will make for safer streets, bustling business districts, and an improved quality of life!” said 40th Ward Alderman Andre Vasquez.
The project will also add community identifiers, new street lighting, parkway trees, parkway pavers, and a community gathering plaza on the Northeast corner of Washtenaw Ave and Lawrence Ave.