Highland Park, News

One project is done, but construction continues in downtown Highland Park

A busy season of construction projects in Highland Park that will bring more than $30 million worth of public infrastructure improvements to the city is moving forward full speed ahead.

City Manager Ghida Neukirch provided the City Council with a series of updates on the ongoing projects and detailed the various phases of construction during the council’s June 10 meeting.

Neukirch highlighted a few key projects during her report, offering councilmembers updates on Second Street infrastructure improvements and resurfacing work and pedestrian signal improvements in the city’s central business district.

According to Neukirch, the city started off work in the spring with its Second Street parking lot reconstruction project. Work in that parking lot, which is located between Michael’s Grill & Salad Bar and Terry’s Toffee, was completed in mid-May.

The project’s goal was to enhance available parking for customers utilizing businesses along Second Street, per information from the city’s website.

The scope of work included reconstruction of the pavement to convert it from an asphalt pavement to an environmentally friendly permeable pavement, according to city officials. Additionally, the city installed LED lighting and conduit for future EV charging stations.

Other downtown work

Part of the city’s work this year also includes resurfacing eight streets in the Central Business District. Those streets are:

Elm Place — Green Bay Road to St. Johns Avenue

Green Bay Road — Elm Place to Laurel Avenue.

Central Avenue — Green Bay Road to Linden Avenue

Laurel Avenue — Green Bay Road to St. Johns Avenue

Second Street — Central Avenue to Laurel Avenue

First Street — Green Bay Road to Laurel Avenue

St Johns — Elm Place to Laurel Avenue

Sheridan Road — Elm Place to Central Avenue

City Councilmembers approved the contract for work on this project to take place in the evening hours, Neukirch said during the June 10 session.

Work is predominantly being done between the hours of 9 p.m.-6 a.m. on Monday evening through Saturday morning, per Neukirch.

“As we evaluated the timing of the project, the impact on businesses, and how to really be most efficient and effective, it was felt that the overnight hours would be most recommended,” Neukirch said.

The resurfacing work is part of the project’s first phase, which is slated to wrap up around June 28, city officials said. That first phase of work also includes concrete curb and apron repair and increased ADA access, which will feature updated ramps and improved pedestrian signaling.

The second phase of Central Business District improvements is set to begin on July 8 following a short break for the Fourth of July holiday.

According to information from the city, this phase will include roadway asphalt surface removal and replacement and roadway patching. All paving work is set to be done by the end of August, per the city. Work in the second phase is also set to take place during the evening.

Several other improvements are planned for Second Street as well, Neukirch said. Upgrades include widening of the sidewalk/brick pavers on the east side of the street, bump-outs to allow for more outdoor dining access on the east side, improved ADA access, new asphalt pavement, new LED street/pedestrian lighting and storm sewer upgrades.

Neukirch told the council that the Second Street improvements will continue through August.

“We are really working diligently with the contractor, and with our team, with communication with residents and businesses just to make sure that people are informed and to be as efficient as possible,” she said.

The city has approximately $34 million earmarked for the infrastructure work, and the updates are part of the city’s recently established top priorities.

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martin carlino
Martin Carlino

Martin Carlino is a co-founder and the senior editor who assigns and edits The Record stories, while also bylining articles every week. Martin is an experienced and award-winning education reporter who was the editor of The Northbrook Tower.

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