Demolition Continues on Kingsbury Street Streetscape as Workers Remove Century-Old Railroad Tracks
Street Improvements are Crucial Infrastructure Upgrades in Building a New Chicago Program
CHICAGO – Construction crews were removing century-old railroad tracks from the middle of Kingsbury Street today, a key element of a $4.3 million streetscape improvement of the former industrial roadway on the Near North Side from North Avenue to Scott Street and Scott from Kingsbury to Halsted Street.
The Kingsbury streetscape project is part of “Building a New Chicago”, a comprehensive $7.3 billion infrastructure renewal program put forward by Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
“As we build a new Chicago, we must invest in these critical infrastructure upgrades in order to strengthen our neighborhoods and improve access to the business and shopping corridors in our communities,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) is leading the Kingsbury streetscape improvements, which are being constructed by Capitol Cement Company of Chicago.
The single-track rail line was first installed in the street in 1872 when the neighborhood was heavily industrial. Over the decades, the land uses changed in the area from industrial to retail, commercial and residential, and the tracks became obsolete.
The project is funded entirely through the Tax Increment Financing (TIF) program), will employ more than 25 construction workers, and include the following elements:
- Complete reconstruction of the roadway pavement, curbs and gutters, driveways and sidewalks
- Drainage and street lighting improvements
- Geometric improvements at the Halsted/Scott intersection consisting of the straightening and realignment of Scott· Permanent removal of 2,500 feet of railroad tracks in the roadway
- Pedestrian enhancements, including wider sidewalks and barrier curb between the roadway and sidewalk
- Improved operation of the Halsted Street/Scott Street intersection
- New ornamental street lighting
- Landscaping, including 100 new trees to be planted
The construction is expected to be completed by August, with landscaping complete by October.
- CDOT Commissioner Gabe Klein will visit the construction site near the corner of Kingsbury and Evergreen Ave on Friday, April 6, 2012 at 1:30 p.m., and will be available to provide more information and for photo opportunities.
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