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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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NANCY GRACE November 19, 2012 at 12:51 PM
Awesome, now what about finishing 151st from Oxford to Central??
Concerned November 19, 2012 at 01:37 PM
Why not put the sidewalk in by the actual High School on the east side of Central?
Darnell November 19, 2012 at 03:04 PM
Why not do both sides, 147th. to 159th?
NANCY GRACE November 19, 2012 at 05:26 PM
Or jack hillie to oak park for bike and walkers?
Mike Ziak November 20, 2012 at 12:42 AM
All good questions. Sidewalks should have been installed on both sides when Central was redone 10 years ago or so. Yeah, we've heard the stories about how the County wanted to do this and that and how it was a former resident along Central who squawked at their proposals and killed all of it. Whatever. The fact that we have all of the public buildings (schools, city hall, library, park district, post office) along busy streets and no sidewalks or walking paths that link all of them along together is a failure that should have been corrected long ago.

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