Downtown Naperville celebrating completion of $4.9 million streetscape project
The atmosphere in downtown Naperville is normally festive, but there's now an extra reason to celebrate.
The city's $4.9 million streetscape project that began in March is just about completed. While final touches still need to be added, the bulk of the major work is done.
For the last six months, visitors to the area have endured street closures and limited nearby parking options. Sidewalks remained open to maintain as much access as possible to local businesses negatively affected by the construction.
The project extended along Jefferson Avenue between Main and Webster streets, and on Main Street between Jackson and Jefferson avenues. The streets were torn up as storm sewers and water mains, some about 100 years old, were replaced.
Pavement was replaced with asphalt travel lanes and concrete parking lanes. Curbs, gutters and sidewalks also were replaced, and brick pavers and driveways were added.
Half the new street lighting is installed as part of the updated underground electric infrastructure. Raised planters, streetscape furniture and additional landscaping are included in the beautification improvements.
Throughout the project, the Downtown Naperville Alliance provided video updates from Executive Director Danielle Tufano, Mayor Steve Chirico and Bill Novack, the director of the city's transportation, engineering and development department. Last weekend, the Downtown Naperville Alliance marked the end of construction with a "Progress in Progress" celebration featuring music, food and family-friendly activities.
"What a difference it makes when you're walking down these wider sidewalks," Chirico said in the latest downtown alliance video. "Everything feels different and better. It's going to be (a) more enjoyable experience for all of the shoppers to be able to get back and forth in a comfortable way."
The goal was to complete construction by Labor Day, a deadline just missed due to supply-chain issues and a strike that halted work, Chirico said.
Novack detailed some of the remaining work, including installing the rest of the streetlights and painting stripes on the road and in parking boxes. He also said construction on Webster Street needs to be completed.
Even with the straggling details, though, Novack made it clear that downtown Naperville is open for business.
"We've got the streets open," he said. "The sidewalks are open on Jefferson and Main. People, cars, pedestrians can all come down here right now."