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Crystal Creek Update!

11/28/2012



LATEST UPDATE 11/28/12
(scroll down for details)

CRYSTAL CREEK UPDATE – CONSTRUCTION WILL BEGIN SOON!

At long last, a contract has been awarded for the next phase of Crystal Creek construction. Albin Carlson & Co. was awarded the contract by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR). A meeting was held on June 9 with residents directly impacted by the construction, since in most cases this work will be conducted in their back yards. Follow up letters are being sent to those people if they could not attend, along with the handouts from the meeting. An additional letter is being sent to residents in the neighborhoods near the Creek north and south of Irving Park Road. Copies of these letters, and the attachments, can be read by clicking on the links below.
As of this writing, a Village contractor is staking out the easements around the Creek. The first work to be conducted is expected to be clearing of trees and brush from around the Creek. As soon as final permits are received from the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), work is expected to begin on installation of a new culvert under Irving Park Road. This will cause lane closures and most likely limits on left turns off of northbound Judd Avenue. 



UPDATE (7/9/10):

We previously reported that a contract has been awarded for the next phase of Crystal Creek construction. Albin Carlson & Co. was awarded the contract by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR). In the past month a Village contractor staked out the easement areas around the Creek and the trees that are going to be removed have been marked.
Unfortunately, work beyond this point has been delayed due to problems getting the final construction permit from the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and the labor strike currently affecting many construction projects. In this case, the crews that would remove trees will not work. We are hopeful these labor difficulties will be resolved shortly and the work can begin soon.


UPDATE (7/22/10):
In our last update we noted that a Village contractor staked out the easement areas around the Creek and the trees that are going to be removed have been marked. We also noted that work beyond this point has been delayed due to problems getting the final construction permit from the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and the labor strike currently affecting many construction projects. It now appears that the labor strike has been settled. The contractor has informed the Village that work should commence the week of July 26. Work should begin with removal of trees, foot bridges and other debris. Separate notification will be given to residents affected directly by removal of foot bridges. 


UPDATE (7/30/10):

In our last update the Village reported that the labor strike involving workers on construction projects has been settled and work would commence the week of July 26th. The contractor has begun removing foot bridges and building access points to the Creek itself. Tree removal crews are now scheduled to begin work the week of August 2nd. There is a planned power outtage scheduled for most of the day Wednesday (August 4th) for about 38 homes adjacent to and near the Creek. This is required to allow tree removal near the power lines running along the Creek. The homes affected by this planned power outtage will be notified directly.

The severe storms that hit the area on July 23rd and 24th were yet another reminder of why this project is so important. We should all keep this in mind as we deal with the inconveniences caused by this project.



UPDATE (8/4/10):
In our last update we reported that work was to begin the week of August 2nd and that a planned power outage was scheduled for August 4th in order to pull down trees near the power lines. Work has begun, primarily building access routes, though the planned outage has been delayed until Thursday August 5th because of bad weather. This begins the process of removing trees and other debris from the Creek area.
As of this writing signs have been placed on Irving Park Road advising of lane closures starting the week of August 9th. The plan is to reduce Irving Park to one-lane in each direction for the installation of a new culvert under the roadway. Work, and the resulting closed lanes, is expected to last approximately 6-8 weeks. As always, these plans are subject to change based on conditions. Also due to this work Wehrman Avenue will be closed to traffic south of Irving Park Road. Wehrman traffic will be diverted to Judd Avenue. Other local street closures will occur in the future as bridges (and culverts) along the Creek route are replaced. Detour signage will be in place at these locations.



UPDATE (8/26/10):

In our last update we reported that work had just begun. As can be seen, work is now proceeding with great progress being made. All of the expected road closures, including Wehrman and Montrose Avenue have been put in place, as well as the lane closures on Irving Park Road. There was a short delay on Irving as soil tests were conducted, but the work is now moving forward again. Lane configurations will be changed as they move from one side of the street to the other. We still anticipate at least 8 weeks for this phase of the project.
Most of the trees have been removed from the Creek area. This required two (2) planed power outages as workers removed trees near the power lines. We thank our residents for putting up with this and the other inconveniences of this project. Once the Creek area is cleaned up, crews will begin excavation for installation of the new block walls for the Creek. Culverts will also be installed under the streets and alleys that have been closed.


UPDATE (9/15/10):
In our last update we reported that work was continuing with good progress being made. Unfortunately, since then most of the work came to a sudden stop because of problems getting Ni-Cor to move utilities at several locations, including Irving Park Road. For safety reasons other work had to be stopped until Ni-Cor was done with their work. This work is now complete at Irving Park Road.
Work has now begun again on Irving Park Road, which will result in a new culvert under the roadway. Our updated completion estimate for the Irving Park work is that it will be completed by mid-November and all lanes will be open at that time.
Once the Creek area is cleaned up, crews will begin excavation for installation of the new block walls for the Creek. Culverts will also be installed under the streets and alleys that have been closed. Temporary fences are scheduled to be installed in all locations by the end of this week.



UPDATE (10/6/10):

In our last update in mid-September the Village reported that work on the Creek project had been temporarily halted due to safety concerns relating to getting Nicor utilities moved at several locations, including Irving Park Road. The utility relocating work by Nicor is now complete and work has resumed. Also temporary fences have now been installed in all locations as was discussed in our last update. 
Recently work has been concentrated on Irving Park Road, which when completed will result in a new culvert under the roadway. Our completion estimate for the Irving Park work remains mid-November with all lanes anticipated to be open at that time. In addition other work has been going on at Hirschberg and Wehrman for the installation of new culverts under those streets. Once the Irving Park, and other culvert work, is completed we anticipate that crews will begin excavation for installation of the new block walls for the Creek and after that installation of those walls.
 
The Village anticipates that there will be winter construction on the project, but how much, and of what type, will be heavily dependent on weather conditions. If we experience a mild winter more work can be done while the opposite would be the case for a harsh winter.



UPDATE (10/25/10):

Progress has continued on the project. The south portion of the Irving Park culvert and road replacement has been completed. The Wehrman Avenue culvert has also been completed. The north portion of the Irving Park Road improvement is now being constructed. This work is proceeding on schedule, so we expect this portion to be completed in late-November and all lanes of traffic to be open at that time. This represents significant progress. Residents can now see the impact this project will have by observing the new culverts under Irving Park and Wehrman. It is apparent that these structures will carry a significantly larger amount of storm water. The rest of the improvements are also designed to carry this additional storm water.

As of this writing the culverts for Hirschberg Avenue and the alley between Hirschberg and Scott Street have also been installed. The contractor has indicated that they may not be able to open both of these roadways for traffic before winter. We are continuing to to work with them in the hope that at least Hirschberg can be opened to traffic. In any case, there may be further street closings later if these streets are needed as staging areas. However, it is expected that Montrose Avenue will remain closed at the Creek throughout the winter.
We have been receiving questions about why the Contractor has not begun work on the block walls. The primary reason is that the Contractor has been focused on the culvert work. Also the construction of concrete abutments (i.e. piers for the pedestrian bridges and culvert wing walls) are needed before the installation of the block walls can begin. Please be assured that the contractor is trying to stage the work on this project in the most efficient way possible. However it is possible, depending on weather conditions, that some of this work will be done over the winter.



UPDATE (11/22/10):
Further progress has been made on the project. The north portion of the Irving Park Road improvement work is still underway, but the Contractor still tells us Irving Park Road will be open to all traffic by the end of November. 
As previously reported the culverts for Hirschberg Avenue and the alley between Hirschberg and Scott Street are complete and we had hoped that these streets would be reopened before winter. The Contractor now tells us they would like all of these roadways to remain closed. This is so that these areas can continue to be used as staging areas for the block construction process. To put this in perspective, each block to be installed weighs more than a ton. This requires significant space for staging. Keeping the roadways closed also makes it more likely that work can proceed over the winter, though this is still dependent on reasonable weather conditions. 


UPDATE (12/6/10)
:


The Mayor recently sent a letter to residents affected by the Crystal Creek Project providing an update on the project. A copy of this letter can be viewed by clicking here



UPDATE (2/25/11)
:


Progress has continued on the project. The Irving Park Road, Wehrman Avenue, Hirschberg and Scott Street culverts have been installed. As a result, storm water is already able to flow through these structures more freely. In the past, they were choke points that often impeded the flow of storm water through the area. Several of the pedestrian bridges have also been installed.
The Contractor has continued to work through the winter, when weather conditions have allowed. Work is proceeding on the “blocks” that make up the new walls of the Creek. This application can be seen clearly at the Wehrman Avenue crossing. These blocks will be installed at most parts of the Creek. This construction model will allow for greater flow of storm water and reduce the chance of erosion. Work will proceed at a more regular pace as spring approaches. 


UPDATE (4/11/11):

Good progress has continued on the project. Now that winter is over, we expect the Contractor to be able to accelerate progress on construction. Already, a significant amount of block construction can be seen around the Hirschberg and Montrose areas. Work is beginning further to the east as well. In addition pedestrian bridges have now been installed at most of their planned locations. 

The Village will continue to provide updates on this website as further progress is made. Amongst other things we will work with the Contractor and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR – the State agency in charge of the project) to open up roadways as soon as possible. We intend to keep them closed, however, as long as it serves to speed up the construction process. In any case, the Contractor is required by contract to complete the project by the end of December 2011.



UPDATE (5/12/11):

While some progress has continued to be made on the project there has been a significant delay recently due to the possible redesign of one small section of the project. The contractor’s redesign submission is currently being reviewed by the staff of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) in Springfield and will hopefully be addressed soon so progress can resume.

Construction on other sections of the improvements has not been made during this redesign delay because the contractor is not permitted to work in the creek except when proper bypass pumping has been set up in advance. This is due to concerns about soil erosion raised by the North Cook County Soil and Water Conservation District and the Army Corps of Engineers. Relocating the bypass pumping infrastructure is difficult and therefore moving it around to different sections of the project is not feasible.

Some of the recent delay can also be attributed to the poor weather we have experienced in recent weeks – the substantial number of days of rain has made the creek area even muddier than usual making construction more difficult. On the plus side the recent rains have demonstrated that the construction progress so far has already improved drainage of the creek significantly.



UPDATE (6/6/11):

As can be seen by the lack of recent progress, the previously reported delay in work activity has continued. The Contractor and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) are continuing to review a redesign submission. The bulk of the work cannot proceed until this is complete. We apologize for this annoying delay. We are pleased to report that the work completed to date, in particular the new culverts, has already resulted in significant storm water flow improvements.
It does appear that work will proceed shortly. The Village has contracted to install new water main at the Montrose Creek crossing. This work is scheduled to begin on June 7th, and should take a couple of weeks to complete. There will be some additional parking restrictions in the area while this work is proceeding. The Contractor has also advised the Village that work on the Creek itself may resume the week of June 13th. In addition, they anticipate that Hirschberg may be open for vehicle traffic again sometime in the next month. They will come back later to apply the final surface. We are still working with them to get Wehrman Avenue open at Irving Park Road, though this may take a bit longer. As always, our primary concern is to keep construction moving as quickly as possible.  


UPDATE (7/21/11):

Unfortunately the delay of work activity has continued. The most recent delay was caused because the contractor was waiting for Com Ed to complete the bracing of one of its electric poles in the project area. This work by Com Ed was delayed by the major storm that blew through the Village early last week that required Com Ed to divert its crews elsewhere to deal with power outages.

Fortunately this work is now complete and the contractor has begun preparations to resume work in the area of the Creek south of the existing concrete channel and north of Montrose. In addition the Contractor has begun restoration of the areas of the Creek where the new construction is already complete. We are pleased to report that construction should resume soon and that further progress is likely in the coming weeks.


UPDATE (9/1/11):

Work on the project resumed in August and good progress has been made. The contractor has nearly completed work on the section of the Creek between Montrose Avenue and existing concrete channel. The next steps will be to work on the box culverts that will be placed under Montrose and then on the section between the end of the existing concrete channel and 25th Avenue.
In the completed section near Hirschberg Avenue installation of the permanent fencing has begun and landscape restoration work will be next. Temporary use of Hirschberg Avenue has been restored but permanent restoration of the pavement will not be completed until later. Wehrman Avenue will remain closed for now but reopening on a temporary basis is being reviewed.



UPDATE (9/27/11)
:

Work on the project has been progressing nicely. The contractor has completed work on the concrete block walls in the section of the Creek between Montrose Avenue and existing concrete channel, with landscape restoration and permanent fencing still remaining. Currently work is being done on the box culverts that have been placed under Montrose with the eventual goal of reopening the road. 
The next step will be to begin work on the concrete wall sections between the end of the existing concrete channel and 25th Avenue. Elsewhere Wehrman Avenue has been reopened with full restoration to follow later.


UPDATE (12/14/11):

As many of our residents have undoubtedly noticed work on the project has been delayed in recent weeks. This has been due to problems discovered requiring additional relocation of utilities. Due to this Com Ed, Nicor, Comcast, and AT&T have all been required to do additional relocating work on their poles, wires, and/or pipes to get them out of the way of the new channel in the area just west of 25th Avenue. The coordination and execution of all of these efforts has taken time during which most work on the project has been delayed.
In the way of good news concrete and asphalt work on the roadways and curbs of Hirschberg Avenue and Montrose Avenue was recently completed and the roads are now fully restored. The completed areas of the project look good and have already resulted in significant storm water drainage improvements.
It is currently hoped that work on the block wall channel will resume in February once the remaining utility relocations are completed. This is of course subject to change and dependent on reasonable weather conditions during the difficult winter season.



UPDATE (3/13/12):
As residents have undoubtedly noticed work on the project has been delayed over the last few months. This delay, as previously reported, has been because of the need for additional relocation of utilities. As was explained in our December website update several utilities have been required to do additional relocating work on their poles or pipes to get them out of the way of the new creek channel in the area just west of 25th Avenue. The coordination and execution of these efforts has taken a significant amount of time during which work on the project has been stalled.
The Village is happy to report that Nicor has completed their work already and that Com Ed has begun the process of relocating their poles. The additional Com Ed work needed additional easements from residents before relocation could begin. The Village thanks these civic minded residents for their valuable cooperation to move forward with this added work. Com Ed’s work when completed will enable construction on the project to resume. It is currently hoped that work on the block wall channel will resume in April once the utility relocations are completed. This is, of course, subject to change and dependent on good weather conditions during the relevant periods.
 

UPDATE (4/18/12):
 
Unfortunately the delays that have plagued the project in recent months have continued. The most recent delay during April was caused by AT&T because they were slow to relocate their wires out of the way of the remaining portion of Creek work. It is currently hoped that by early May work will have resumed on the project. This is of course subject to change due to weather conditions and other potential problems.
Once work on the project resumes the contractor’s main focus will be on completing the concrete block walls in the section of the Creek west of 25th Avenue. Other items remaining are placing fence and finishing landscaping throughout the project.



UPDATE (5/23/12):

The Village is pleased to announce that the contractor has begun working again on the creek. This was possible because all of the utility wiring was finally moved out of the way of the project after a lengthy delay – most recently caused by AT&T but also by other utilities.
The primary task that remains is to construct the concrete block walls in the section of the creek between the existing concrete channel and 25th Avenue. Other items that require finishing are the placement of fencing and landscaping in the areas surrounding the creek. It is the Village’s hope that this project will be nearly complete by late this coming fall – if not earlier.


UPDATE (8/24/12):
 
The Village is pleased to announce that the contractor has made substantial progress on the concrete block walls in the section of the Creek west of 25th Avenue. In fact this phase of the work is nearly complete and work is now proceeding on the culvert extensions which will enable the remaining concrete blocks to be placed.
 
Other work remaining to be done is landscape and pavement restoration and the hope is for that to proceed this fall. The overall goal now is to complete the project this year.
 
The Village will continue to provide updates on this website as further progress is made. As always, we appreciate the patience and understanding shown by our residents as this long and often messy project continues. If you have further questions regarding this project please contact the Village Hall at (847) 678-2550.



UPDATE (11/28/12):

The Village is very pleased to announce that the contractor recently completed the flood control portion of the Crystal Creek project. All improvements planned to control flooding are in place and fully functioning at this time.
However, while the flood control portion is complete the project as a whole is not finished yet. Remaining items include fencing and landscaping as well as tying up any loose ends of issues and problems that have arisen over the course of the project. If you are aware of a particular concern about something related to the project please bring it to the attention of the Village so we can address it with the State or the contractor in a timely manner.
The Village will continue to provide updates on this website as the project nears completion. As always, we appreciate the patience and understanding shown by our residents as this long and often messy project nears its conclusion. If you have further questions regarding this project please contact the Village Hall at (847) 678-2550.
 



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