Central Avenue Sidewalk Project Underway
Using a $50,000 grant from the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, the city is installing sidewalk along Central Avenue from James to Independence Drive, and also in front of Jewel.
Oak Forest residents looking for a safer, easier path along Central Avenue near Acorn Public Library won't have too long to wait.
Work began last week on the installation of sidewalk along Central Avenue from James to Independence Drive. Aldermen approved the project in August.
Once the project is completed, there will be continuous sidewalk from 147th Street to 159th Street.
The winning bid came in from Lorusso Cement Contractors, at $55,385; the city will apply for an additional grant to cover the difference of the grant. If grant funds are unavailable, the city will make up the difference through its sidewalk escrow fund, according to a release on the city's website.
In order to move forward with the project, an easement agreement was necessary, as the library's property ownership extends to the curb of Central Avenue. Library board members approved the agreement at a meeting in July, Library Director Eric Werthmann previously told Patch.
"I think this is a very big deal to the city," said City Administrator Troy Ishler after the city council's decision in August. "By putting these pieces of sidewalk in, we will have contiguous sidewalk all the way from 147th Street to 159th Street, which connects a lot of major things in the city: the high school, city hall, the library, the park district, shopping along 159th Street."
Werthmann is looking forward to an increased accessibility to the library.
"It will be great to give everybody access to the library, and other things in the area," Werthmann said. "We're very excited."
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