Downtown Arlington Heights bracing for busy construction season
Downtown Arlington Heights is due for some major construction work this summer, as six public works projects converge on the area.
From March to November, the village will work with Nicor to install new gas mains to replace the current 25-year-old pipes.
The village also will launch a downtown sewer project estimated to last 12 weeks, starting in April.
The brick-paver sidewalks downtown are scheduled for maintenance work, and the Illinois Department of Transportation plans to resurface a stretch of Northwest Highway. Three midblock crosswalks -- on Campbell Street and Dunton and Evergreen avenues -- are set for construction, and Union Pacific is planning improvements to the Dunton Avenue railroad crossing.
"These projects are all necessary projects," Village Manager Randy Recklaus said. "They're things that will enhance our downtown."
Even so, at a village board meeting Monday, trustees expressed frustration about the likely effects of the work. Pedestrian traffic will be rerouted and some outdoor seating areas will be closed.
"No matter what, this is going to be a disruptive process," Recklaus acknowledged. "This is going to be difficult."
The gas main project will bring multiple sidewalk closures, and construction equipment will block street parking in some areas. Village officials said the project is necessary to compensate for material failures in the pipes.
The downtown sewer project promises road closures and traffic detours. It likely will affect daytime businesses more than nighttime ones.
"The concern is the impact on businesses and residents and visitors to our community," Mayor Tom Hayes said. "It's preferable to get it all done in one summer so that hopefully, any adverse impact on them will be minimized."
Recklaus said officials considered postponing some of the work but concluded it was better to get everything out of the way at once.
"We still believe we can provide a very nice experience to our downtown visitors," he said. "All of these projects ultimately will leave our downtown prettier and more functional."