Elgin's 2-year East Chicago Street rebuild expected to start in May

Elgin plans to spend $17.2 million this year on street resurfacing, underground sewer work and bridge repairs, giving way to a "busy, busy summer," city senior engineer Mike Pubentz said.

A two-year, $7.6 million project, including federal funds, to reconstruct East Chicago Street is expected to start in May, Pubentz said. The work spanning East Chicago Street from Center to Liberty streets and Geneva Street from Chicago to Fulton streets, will be "fairly inconvenient for people," he told the city council last week.

The Illinois Department of Transportation awarded the bid to Martam Construction of Elgin, Pubentz said. The first year will consist of underground work, like sewer separation. The second year will feature pavement construction, signal upgrades, lighting improvements, and new curbs and gutters. There will be one-lane closures and traffic will be detoured onto Villa Street. "It always looks worse before it looks better," Pubentz said. "So just think about what November 2020 will look like."

The city plans to spend $4 million to resurface neighborhood streets, including along Clifford and Jerusha avenues south of Judson University, "an area that has really seen some pavement damage and breakdown over the last few years," Pubentz said. Major streets to be resurfaced include portions of Larkin Avenue, West Chicago Street, Davis Road and Valley Creek Drive, totaling $1.5 million.

Repair work will be done on 17 bridges to fix issues and extend the life of the structures, Pubentz said. "There are no safety issues. But over the longer term, they need to be kept up," he said.

The bridge work was delayed last year after bids came in higher than anticipated. The city has budgeted $500,000 this year.

The city also plans to spend $150,000 to resurface some parking lots and alleys, which will become a yearly program, Pubentz said.

Another major project is the construction of a new ramp from northbound Randall Road to eastbound Route 20, to be done by the Kane County Department of Transportation. County officials said the $6.2 million, mostly federally funded project is expected to start in May and end in late fall. Speeds will be reduced but two lanes of traffic in each direction will remain open during rush hour, officials said.

Currently, drivers have to make a left turn from northbound Randall Road to get onto an entrance ramp. The new ramp will be on the right, about where Weld Road meets Randall Road, said Carl Schoedel, the county's director of transportation. "It improves the safety at that intersection," he said.

Residents can download Elgin's 311 mobile app to get notifications about traffic alerts and visit to view maps and sign up for updates.

The city spent $6.4 million in construction projects last year. The largest capital plan in recent memory consisted of $25 million in 2016.

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