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Sidewalk Coming Soon to 151st Street

Oak Forest aldermen Tuesday signed off on the lowest bid for the installation of a sidewalk near Hille Middle School. Work is expected to begin as early as next week.

Installation of a sidewalk near the site of a student's injury in April will begin Oct. 1, Oak Forest aldermen decided Tuesday. 

Aldermen approved a bid totaling $69,608 for the work, from Alsip-based Davis Concrete Construction. The bid was the lowest of four submitted, and came in under an engineer's projected $72,000. Work is scheduled to start Oct. 1, to be completed by Nov. 2. 

Sidewalk will be laid on the south side of 151st Street, from Condado to the existing sidewalk at 5747 W. 151st St., in addition to a connecting sidewalk to the existing sidewalk.

The City of Oak Forest will pay $34,588 for its portion of the work; Forest Ridge District 142 will pay $10,906. The remainder will be covered by Oak Forest, to be reimbursed by Cook County. 

The sidewalk and a new stoplight are safety measures planned after student Alex Fitzgerald was struck by a car in April 2012. Alex, who is still recovering from a traumatic brain injury sustained in the accident, inspired city and school officials to seek help from Cook County Commissioner Joan Murphy, to make the area safer for students. 

Cook County officials approved the installation of a stoplight and sidewalk near the location. The County will cover the $250,000 cost of the stoplight; a temporary stoplight is currently in place. 

The city's portion of the funds will come from its sidewalk escrow account, said City Administrator Troy Ishler at a previous meeting.

"We do have sufficient funds to pay for this sidewalk," Ishler said, "Which I think is a perfect example of what we should be using this money for."  

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NANCY GRACE September 26, 2012 at 12:48 PM
So there isn't going to be sidewalk from 151st and central on the north side that extends west to path that leads to Hille?
Mike Ziak September 26, 2012 at 01:10 PM
Good start, but why stop there? Why not extend the sidewalk all the way to Ridgeland on the south side? Why not put sidewalk on the north side all the way to Moorings, Landings & Ridgemoor? Why not extend the path on the north side to Central like Nancy asked? They probably could have done a 10' wide asphalt path for cheaper instead of a 5' wide concrete sidewalk. There is plenty of right of way along there to do it. Was that an option? This is a knee-jerk reaction to something that simply should have been done years ago as a no-brainer. Its too bad that it took someone getting hurt to do anything along there.
Michael M. September 26, 2012 at 02:06 PM
The lack of sidewalk had nothing to do with the accident. Having the sidewalk is a convenience factor, and will not keep anyone from being hit by a car. Even the traffic light will not help, Mike Ziak is right, it is a knee jerk reaction; according to the police report, the two main factors to the accident was poor lighting and a crossing error. You can read my comment about this here, http://oakforest.patch.com/articles/stoplight-sidewalks-coming-to-site-of-student-s-injury
Bob Laird September 26, 2012 at 02:46 PM
Is it just me, or is $250,000 a little over the top for a stoplight? That's more than most of our homes are worth.
NANCY GRACE September 26, 2012 at 04:51 PM
@mike ziak, well said. Should be extended out west!...also I was advised on 151st from Oxford east to Central there would be a sidewalk put in. I guess that was false info. Let's wait for a person to get hit @Oxford,its just east of Hille.

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