Forest Park officials have added two components to the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) First Avenue construction project when it reaches Roosevelt Road later this summer.

The Forest Park Village Council voted 5-0 June 24 to approve an intergovernmental agreement with IDOT for the addition of a sidewalk on the south side of Roosevelt Road from First Avenue to the bus stop and for an upgrade to the emergency vehicle pre-emption (EVP) controls at the intersection.

The village will pay $12,075 for the work, $8,050 for the EVP upgrade and $4,025 for the sidewalk work. Forest Park will pay the total cost of the EVP upgrade and 20 percent of $20,125 total cost of the sidewalk work with federal funds covering the rest.

Village Administrator Tim Gillian explained that the main beneficiaries of the new sidewalk will be students attending nearby Proviso Math and Science Academy, who will no longer have to walk to the bus stop after school on an unpaved area. Under terms of the agreement, the village will be responsible for maintaining the new sidewalk, including removal of snow and ice. 

EVP controls allow emergency vehicles to disrupt a normal signal cycle to proceed through the intersection more quickly and under safer conditions. The pre-emption systems can extend the green on an emergency vehicle’s approach or replace the phases and timing for the whole cycle. 

Mayor Rory Hoskins said the improvements have “been in the works for a while.”

He said the timing of the work is to be determined, noting the entire project has been delayed by the Chicago area’s rainy spring.

The overall project consists of resurfacing First Avenue from 43rd Street in Lyons to the Eisenhower Expressway, which is the first of two phases. In the second phase, scheduled for 2020, First Avenue will be resurfaced from the Eisenhower Expressway to Des Plaines River Road. In addition to resurfacing, work includes spot repairs to concrete, manholes and drainage structures.

Motorists can expect rolling daytime lane closures, which will reduce traffic to one lane in each direction, and increased travel times.

At the intersection of First and Roosevelt, IDOT plans call for restriping First Avenue to include dual left turn lanes and eliminating one northbound through lane to accommodate an adjacent barrier median. Additional improvements include pavement widening on Roosevelt Road west of First Avenue, as well as traffic signal modernization.

Total cost of the project at First and Roosevelt is $1,396,675 with federal funds generally covering 80 percent. Costs are $977,500 for roadway work, $399,050 for traffic signal improvements and $20,125 for the sidewalk. Of the roadway costs, federal funds cover $782,000, which is 80 percent, and state funds cover $195,500, which is 20 percent. Separate from the EVP upgrade, traffic signal improvement costs are $391,000. Federal funds cover $312,800, which is 80 percent, and state funds cover $78,200, which is 20 percent.

Work was recently completed on a separate IDOT project that involved resurfacing Roosevelt Road from Des Plaines Avenue to Mannheim Road. That project bypassed the intersection with First Avenue to avoid tearing up asphalt that had just been laid.