CDOT, 40th Ward Alderperson Vasquez Break Ground on North Lincoln Avenue Streetscape Improvement Project

September 15, 2023

Between Western Ave. and Catalpa Ave., project includes infrastructure upgrades, pedestrian and bicycle improvements, and a permanent plaza space

CDOT, Alderman and community leaders stand behind dirt and shovels to commemorate the start of construction for the Lincoln Ave Streetscape

CHICAGO – The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT), 40th Ward Alderperson Andre Vasquez, and the Lincoln Square Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce (LSRCC) today broke ground on a major streetscape project that will create a safer, more walkable North Lincoln Avenue that enhances public space and supports economic development. The project, which spans Lincoln Avenue between Western Avenue and Catalpa Avenue, includes wider sidewalks, protected bike lanes, a public plaza and new community gathering space, and additional placemaking and traffic safety improvements.

“This project is a great example of investments in infrastructure that improve quality-of-life for Chicagoans,” said Mayor Brandon Johnson. “I applaud Alderman Vasquez for his leadership in the 40th Ward and the team at CDOT their commitment to investing in our neighborhoods.”

“We are pleased to get started on this streetscape improvement project that will make North Lincoln Avenue a more people-oriented street that will foster community and economic growth,” said CDOT Acting Commissioner Tom Carney. “CDOT worked closely with the 40th Ward and community stakeholders throughout the design of this project, and we look forward to seeing it come to life.”


Rendering of People Gathered in Completed Ainslie Arts Plaza

The Lincoln Avenue Streetscape is a $21 million investment that builds upon the 2019 Lincoln Square Master Plan and supports aldermanic plans to create the Lincoln Avenue North Arts (LANA) District in the area. Improvements include:

  • Roadway geometry and intersection improvements
  • New widened sidewalk, curb, and gutter
  • Full width resurfacing with new pavement markings
  • Protected bike lanes
  • New pavers and trees on parkways
  • New street lighting
  • Upgrades to ADA ramps and crosswalks
  • New street furniture and seating areas
  • Community identifiers
  • Creation of Ainslie Arts Plaza including the permanent closure of Lincoln Ave between Gunnison St and Ainslie Ave
  • Creation of Catalpa community gathering space at Catalpa and Lincoln Avenue
  • Creation of space in the public way for art installations

“It’s more important than ever to have intentional spaces that prioritize pedestrians and allow folks to come together in community,” said Alderperson Vasquez. “The Lincoln Avenue North streetscape will be an amazing addition to the 40th Ward.”

“Every year, another piece of the 2019 Lincoln Square Master Plan falls into place. Through a lot of hard work and coordination between our community and the City, this next piece of the plan will finally come to fruition,” said Ian Tobin, Vice President-Director of Community Development at the Lincoln Square Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce. “I thank Alder Andre Vasquez for his leadership, which got us to this point. The streetscape will reposition this corridor for future growth on Lincoln Avenue North.” 

Rendering of a community gathering space at Catalpa Ave with people gathered on benches

The streetscape’s construction will be broken into two sections, with work beginning on the north end of the project between Foster Avenue and Catalpa Avenue and Catalpa Ave between Lincoln Avenue and Western Avenue. The second section, consisting of Lincoln Avenue between Western Avenue and Foster Avenue, will be constructed in 2024. Substantial completion is expected by the end of 2024.

Throughout construction the street will remain open to motorists and pedestrians and access to businesses will be maintained. In order to keep the street open to traffic, parking will not be allowed in the area of active construction. In addition, there will be periodic parking restrictions on some side streets. CTA bus routes will not be affected.

You can view renderings and learn more about the streetscape here:


Rendering of protected bike lanes and new greenery on Lincoln and Argyle



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