Lake Street Corridor Improvement

Firm:Thomas Engineering Group, LLC & TranSystems Corporation

Other Consultants: WSP USA, Inc., TranSmart/EJM Corporation, Huff & Huff, Inc., The Lakota Group, FRS Design Group, LLC, Rubino Engineering, Inc., Ground Penetrating Radar Systems, Tetra Tech, Inc., Sasaki Associates, Inc., Terra Engineering, Ltd., Interra, Inc., Prescott Group, LLC

Owner: Village of Oak Park

Description:The Village and engineering team experienced a plethora of political and economic changes and challenges. Original and innovative techniques were a must and included (1) break out mini-streetscape designs for private developers, (2) re-designed decorative crosswalks, (3) use of ground penetrating radar survey, (4) an advance procurement contract for traffic signals, (5) use of portable pedestrian ramps / bridges, (6) accommodation of 5G technology, and (7) coordination of the separate Village wide fiber project.

The utility project replaced 100-year old sewer and water main. The streetscape and resurfacing projects brought many aesthetic improvements to the corridor including brick intersections, decorative crosswalks, black concrete curb, bluestone sidewalk, granite curb planters, moveable planters, seat walls, benches, a gateway monument sign, landscaping, bike racks, re-established outdoor dining, decorative roadway and pedestrian lighting, and wayfinding signage.

The Village’s perspective is complimentary because this project is anticipated to be delivered on time and on budget. From the public perspective, the Village was able to augment road closures, work zones, and maintenance of traffic plans to provide outdoor dining and curbside pickup areas. The extensive 8-year outreach program led to:

1. empowering private development,
2. financing a shopper reward program to help offset lost revenue,
3. improving private features on public property,
4. adapting to COVID-19,
5. scheduling punch list completion by Thanksgiving for the holiday shopping season,
6. remembering the past (trolley tracks) while
7. looking to the future (5G).

The center piece was the intricate streetscape project in the downtown area. But the added complexity of (1) a utility project and a resurfacing project along the same corridor under construction at the same time and (2) COVID-19 make this a “career project” and one that the Village is very proud of.

Village of Oak Park

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