A combination of road projects expected to cost $4.4 million is one step closer to fruition following a July 28 council vote on plans to repave Harvard Street and Jackson Boulevard.

According to a project outline provided to Forest Park commissioners, the village is looking for engineering documents related to the resurfacing, pavement reconstruction and patching of those streets. Also, both roadways are slated for traffic calming improvements. Work is expected to begin in April 2009, according to an engineer with the municipality’s contracted firm, Christopher B. Burke Engineering.

Of the total price tag, $2.86 million will go toward improvements along Harvard Street and roughly $1.55 million will be spent on Jackson Boulevard. Some federal funding has been secured for the projects, but engineer Michael Matkovic said the village is attempting to pin down a total of $3 million in federal support.

“Certainly I think it’s going to be a welcome opportunity for the village of Forest Park to get these roadways repaired,” Mayor Anthony Calderone said of the plans.

On Harvard Street, a three-quarter mile stretch between Harlem Avenue and Desplaines Avenue will be affected. Intersections along the route will see handicap-accessibility improvements, and crosswalks will be stamped and colored, much like what has already occurred along Madison Street. Better lighting for pedestrians, benches, flower planters and trash cans are also expected to be added to the route, according to details of the plan presented to the council.

Similarly, a half-mile of Jackson Boulevard between Desplaines Avenue and Harlem Avenue will be upgraded, according to the plans. However, engineers said the work may also include water and sewer repairs. The extent of those infrastructure repairs will be determined as planning continues.

This second phase of the Jackson and Harvard street improvements includes defining in greater detail the work that is to be done. The engineering process is expected to cost the village $361,980. That money will be drawn from the Village Improvement Plan fund.

Also approved at Monday’s council meeting is the installation of an elevated crosswalk on Madison Street near Constitution Court. The raised element will serve double duty as a speed table to help slow traffic along the corridor. Commissioners voted unanimously to install the elevated crosswalk as part of a $182,000 effort to patch various roadways in the village. That money will also be drawn from the Village Improvement Plan fund.

Pedestrians and motorists will likely see the elevated crosswalk installed on Madison Street in August or early September, depending on weather and other scheduling factors.