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County prepares to start Crawford Avenue project

LINCOLNWOOD — Crawford Avenue will undergo a major makeover next spring when a Cook County-led reconstruction project begins.

The Cook County Highway Department has been planning to reconstruct the portion of Crawford Avenue running through Lincolnwood from Devon Avenue to Jarvis Avenue for the past several years. It will set the process into motion this month by opening the bidding for project contractors.

The construction project—which includes a major reconstruction of all four lanes of traffic and the installation of a new sewer mane—is expected to last two years. It will intermittently shut down lanes and snarl traffic along Crawford Avenue near District 74 schools, the Lincolnwood Jewish Congregation and nearby Bryn Mawr Country Club.

The village plans to hold a public meeting with the Cook County Highway Department in January or February when the specifics of the construction schedule will be detailed, said Village Manager Tim Wiberg.

“The village is working proactively to coordinate meetings with the affected parties, including District 74, the library, and Bryn Mawr Country Club, whose only public entrance is off Crawford Avenue,” Wiberg said.

Cook County’s part of the project will include the creation on a northbound signalized left turn lane at Lincoln Avenue, a southbound left turn lane at Greenleaf Avenue, the closure of the median opening located north of Morse Avenue and a reduction of the median opening at Morse Avenue from 130-feet to 80-feet, according to village board documents.

Because a large portion of the sidewalks along Crawford will be torn apart during the water main installation phase, Cook County will cover those costs, and the village decided to replace the rest of the sidewalk not affected by the construction work through a 50/50 cost-share program with the county. It will cost the village around $34,000.

The village plans to incorporate a few improvements of their own into the reconstruction project, including the replacement of street lights, 11 fire hydrants and the 86-year-old water main that runs along Crawford Avenue.

Those improvements are estimated to cost the village about $2.4 million, according to village staff documents.

“The costs for the village’s portion of the project will be known for certain when the bid process takes place later this month,” Wiberg said.

A $25,000 flow meter installed in the new storm water main that will carry storm water from Lincolnwood to Skokie, will allow the village to monitor the water main replacement’s impact on Skokie. The flow meter cost is included in the estimated total cost to the village.

The Crawford Avenue construction overhaul is sure to cause long-term traffic delays. North of Lincoln Avenue, only one lane of traffic will be open in each direction at all times, and south of Lincoln Avenue there will be one-way traffic for a portion of the project.

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