CDOT, 40th Ward Alderman Vasquez Break Ground on Lawrence Avenue Streetscape Project
CHICAGO – Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) Commissioner Gia Biagi today joined 40th Ward Alderman Andre Vasquez and the Lincoln Square Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce to break ground on the Lawrence Avenue streetscape project, which extends from Western Avenue to the Chicago River. The project features a variety of infrastructure upgrades that will improve safety for all road users and create a more walkable, inviting street that supports economic development. Improvements will include widened sidewalks, new ADA ramps and crosswalks, bump-outs to shortened pedestrian crossing distances, a new contraflow bike lane, and new plaza space.
“This project will create a safer space for people walking and biking and more inviting for the small businesses that are essential to Lawrence Avenue. CDOT worked closely with the 40th Ward and community stakeholders throughout this project, and we look forward to seeing it come to life,” said CDOT Commissioner Gia Biagi. “With support from Mayor Lightfoot’s Chicago Works plan, CDOT has been able to implement projects like this throughout every corner of our city.”
The streetscape project will improve safety for people walking and biking along the corridor by adding bump-outs to shorten crossing distances and calm vehicle speeds, new ADA ramps and crosswalks, a pedestrian refuge island at Francisco and Lawrence, and a new contraflow bike lane on Francisco that will provide a low-stress connection to the North Shore Channel Trail.
"Through the Lawrence Streetscape, along with the $16 million Lincoln Avenue Streetscape and Arts District project, the Leland Greenway, and improvements to Western, the neighbors of Lincoln Square and Lincoln Avenue North will see what I envision to be a rejuvenation of the whole neighborhood that will make for safer streets, bustling business districts, and an improved quality of life!” said 40th Ward Alderman Andre Vasquez.
The project will also create a more vibrant and inviting street by adding community identifiers, new street lighting, parkway trees, parkway pavers, and a community gathering plaza on the Northeast corner of Washtenaw Ave and Lawrence Ave.
Additional infrastructure upgrades include full-width resurfacing, new curb and gutter, drainage improvements, new pavement markings, new traffic signs, and traffic signal improvements. This project is a continuation of CDOT’s work on Lawrence between Clark Street and Western Avenue, completed in 2015 and included a road diet to reduce speeding and improve safety.
“We’ve seen firsthand how Phase 1 of this streetscape project reinvigorated Lawrence Avenue between Clark and Western and helped our businesses by creating a safer and more walkable street. We’re looking forward to these upcoming improvements, which will help foster economic development and create a more vibrant commercial corridor,” said Rudy Flores, director of the Lincoln Square Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce.
The $11.8 million project, funded through TIF and the Chicago Works capital plan, is expected to be completed in Spring 2024.