Sunset over Madison Street | Credit: Igor Studenkov/Staff Reporter

The Madison Street corridor is about to get a refresh – and potentially a long-discussed new gateway sign at the northwest corner of the Harlem Avenue/Madison Street intersection.

The new, larger gateway sign at the south entrance to Forest Park’s primary commercial corridor, similar to what’s already in place on Roosevelt Road, has long been discussed, but earlier this week, the village took concrete steps toward making it a reality. The village council approved a $14,260 contract with Rosemont-based Christopher Burke Engineering, Forest Park’s regular engineering contractor, to develop the plans and prepare the bids to do the first major refurbishment of Madison Street since 1999.

As part of the contract, the firm will prepare three possible gateway designs, and the village council will choose which one to proceed with. The contract also calls for Burke to develop plans for repainting Madison Street light poles, replacing some benches and bike racks, “and other miscellaneous improvements.”

Village Administrator Moses Amidei said that Forest Parkers should expect to see the streetscape improvements this fall, adding that there was no concrete timeline for when the sign will go up.

According to Amidei’s memo to the council, in 1999, Madison Street corridor was reconstructed with new utilities and got streetscape improvements such as brick pavers on some sections of the sidewalks, new street light poles bike racks and benches. The village also planted some trees. The corridor got repaved in 2016, and there have been some minor fixes, but, until now, there hasn’t been major refurbishment.

According to Burke Engineering’s project proposal, the new refurbishment will include repainting the existing light poles, bollards and cabinet, redoing pavement markers, repainting the pavement markers, replacing damaged benches, bike racks and garbage cans. Amidei told the Review that they will also be redoing tree wells – the holes in the ground the trees were planted in – because the trees have grown since they were originally planted – and repairing the sidewalks.

Forest Park has two gateway signs near the east and west ends of the Forest Park portion of Roosevelt Road. The Harlem/Roosevelt sign a little past the northwest corner of the intersection, at roughly 7209 Roosevelt Rd. The sign is a brick-looking structure with a decorative streetlight at the top. The Desplaines/Roosevelt sign is located near the southeast corner of the intersection, at roughly 7740 Roosevelt Rd. It has a similar design – the only major difference is a wider base.

Amidei told the Review that the new Harlem/Madison gateway sign would be something along those lines in terms of size and scope, but not necessarily the same kind of design.

“Are we going to have the same theme? I’m not sure,” he said.

The new sign would take advantage of a base that’s already built at the northwest corner of the intersection, at the Chipotles parking lot.