Mayor Emanuel Breaks Ground on Devon Avenue Streetscape Project

April 18, 2014

$15 Million TIF-funded Infrastructure Improvement Project is Now Underway

Mayor Rahm Emanuel joined Ald. Debra Silverstein (50th) and Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) Commissioner Rebekah Scheinfeld to break ground today on the Devon Avenue streetscape project that will improve the North Side business district with infrastructure upgrades and unique decorative elements.

“This important infrastructure investment will improve the aesthetics of the street, enhance the quality of life for West Ridge neighbors and encourage more economic development along this corridor,” Mayor Emanuel said. “The improvements will consist of numerous aesthetic and architectural elements, including decorative lighting, stamped crosswalks, landscaped planters and community identifiers highlighting the local shopping district.”

The construction project starting today, between Sacramento Avenue and California Avenue, is the first of five planned phases to improve a mile and a half of Devon from Kedzie Avenue to Leavitt Avenue over the next several years.

The entire $15 million streetscape project was planned and designed by CDOT and community representatives, and funded mostly through Tax Increment Financing (TIF). It is one of the many neighborhood streetscape projects of Building a New Chicago, Mayor Emanuel’s comprehensive infrastructure renewal program.

“This streetscape project was developed in coordination with the community to improve the unique experience of Devon Avenue, the main thoroughfare of the West Ridge neighborhood,” Ald. Silverstein said. “Through Tax Increment Financing, we have put our own tax dollars to work in our neighborhood.”

The project’s infrastructure and aesthetic elements include wider sidewalks, new street and pedestrian lighting, crosswalks, street bump outs, and community identifiers highlighting the Devon Avenue corridor.

Project highlights: 

  • New wider sidewalks with ADA ramps
  • New curbs and gutters
  • New decorative street and pedestrian lighting
  • Paver parkways
  • Decorative benches, bike racks and waste containers
  • Seating areas on side streets
  • New trees with tree grates
  • Landscaped in-ground and above-ground planters
  • Light pole, intersection, and gateway community identifiers
  • New crosswalks at each intersection
  • The Devon Streetscape is part of CDOT’s commitment to building “complete streets” to ensure that Chicago’s roadways are designed and built in a balanced way to improve safety for all users, lower transportation costs, improve health and build stronger communities.

Complete Streets give Chicagoans of all ages and abilities safer, cheaper and healthier travel options. They support neighborhood economic development and create sustainable infrastructure for communities.

“We must build and maintain our roads for healthy business districts, vibrant neighborhoods and high quality of life, and measure success through improved safety, mode choices and livability,” Scheinfeld said. “With complete streets, we are designing for all modes of transportation by looking for ways to improve our health, safety and economy while addressing our changing transportation needs.”

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