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Added Aug 01 2012

Just in case anyone hasn't gotten the word on this:

Foster Avenue Sewer Project

The Department of Water Management (DWM) will begin installing a new sewer in W. Foster Avenue, from St. Louis to Monticello. Foster Avenue will be completely closed to traffic, between St. Louis and Monticello during construction. The project is anticipated to begin on Tuesday, August 14 and will be completed in early October.

The old pipe dates back to 1928 and needs to be replaced. While construction is never convenient, this project will be a tremendous long term improvement for the neighborhood. The area bounded by Berwyn on the north, Carmen on the south, Monticello on the east, and St. Louis on the west will benefit from improved drainage and reduced risk of flooding.

Foster must be closed to traffic for reasons of safety. However, DWM personnel are aware that their work is inherently disruptive and are committed to working with local residents and businesses, to minimize the impact of this project.

Northeastern Illinois University traffic will be able to utilize their Foster exit, with one westbound lane remaining open until the first week of September. Traffic will be detoured to Lawrence, Kedzie and Pulaski. Foster Avenue CTA buses will be detoured to Lawrence, between Pulaski and Kimball.

All Foster Avenue businesses will remain open and accessible during the project. Car Fix Auto Center, which is located at the SE corner of Foster and Central Park, will be accessible from Central Park, which will be converted to a 2 way street, between Lawrence and Foster, throughout the project. St. Louis Avenue, between Foster and Carmen, will also be converted to a 2 way street. Parking will be stripped on one side of the street for these converted blocks, to provide the necessary width for 2-way traffic. to subscribe to Ald. Laurino's Newsletter, down near the bottom of the page.

  • Sarah P. 10 year resident Albany Park - condo owner

    I'm a little nervous about this project. I know it needs to be done and there is no other way, but I'm worried about the parking and traffic problems for all of us living in that area between Lawrence and Foster, Pulaski and Kimball. Could be interesting...

  • kenji Find us here -->

    I go from Cicero Ave. on Foster to California Ave. everyday. I'm planning on using Pulaski to Bryn Mawr, then come back down South on California.

  • The way I try to look at such inconveniences is to recognize them as a necessary evil. Try to appreciate the value of the project and suck it up; summon up a little more intestinal fortitude; leave the house a little earlier, and offer it up for the suffering souls in Purgatory. : )

  • Flew That Chicago born & raised. You can come home again!

    Thanks for the warning. Bob. Traffic on that section of Foster is already nightmarish most of the time - it's truly comforting to know it will now expand to include streets in all directions in the vicinity.

    Good for you, Katy. Hope it works for you and all those folks in purgatory, aka Foster Ave.

  • Earl North Park Resident

    Thanks Bob! I agree it's a necessary evil. However, this is some piss poor scheduling between city services because the Albany Park Library demolition and reconstruction will be starting at the same time. I'm not a civil engineer, but you think they would want to wait until fall or spring to start the Albany Park library project.
    Anyway, what's the over/under on the number of Orthodox kids that get run over by cars going 100mph down Drake?

  • Paul 5 Years in North Park

    @Earl - considering the over/under on a normal day is 5, I'm terrified to think what it will be with all of this traffic going down Drake. It would be nice if on the first few days there is some type of traffic management out there to assist with the insanity. Central Park, Drake, and Carmen right there are rough driving on normal days.

  • twisterella 10 year Chi resident

    Thanks for posting this here. Does anyone know when school starts back up at Von Steuben? That's going to make things even more challenging!

  • Paul 5 Years in North Park

    School starts back up that week right after Labor Day (or just before it).

    I don't see any reroute information for the #92 Bus. Nothing on the CTA website - I'm assuming they will have to reroute the bus around the closure...? Anyone know anything about the what the plan is?

  • kenji Find us here -->

    My kid goes back to school August 17th.

  • @Paul: Check out the initial post which began this thread. I believe the bus re-route is addressed thrrein.

  • Paul 5 Years in North Park

    @kaythunny - it sure is, don't know how I missed that! Thanks for pointing it out.

  • You're welcome, Paul. With many posts, it's easy to forget the content from one to the other or . . . you're getting old. ;-)

  • I second the concerns about increased traffic on Drake and Carmen -- and in the alleys as well. Many people blow through the stop signs already, and this will not make things any better. Does anyone know whether we can lobby the alderman for additional traffic surveillance?

  • With all of the children in the area, I would think that Traffic Management aides would be assigned to these areas. It's a good suggestion to be brought to the Alderman's attention.

  • Bob Kastigar 15 Years North Park, bike rider, retired

    Work, and closings, are starting today, Tuesday, 8/14.

    Tickets are being issued for driving the wrong way one a one-way street that hasn't yet been opened for two-way traffic. Tickets are also being issued for cars using alleys as thoroughfares.

    Of course you can use an alley to make a drop off or park in your own garage.

  • Paul 5 Years in North Park

    I hope they are out there regularly throughout the project giving people tickets, and not just in the first few days. The parade of cars already started this morning down the dead-end side of Drake and the alley that goes around there. Not quite sure how people can't see that the road ends there and doesn't go through, yet they still try it!

  • I'm also wondering about how they intend to make Central Park bidirectional, since the concrete curbs narrows it to a single lane at Foster... Never a dull moment!

  • Ainslie and Argyle Streets were already crazy busy this past Sunday and Foster had not yet closed. I would think that the bus route would go south from Foster to Lawrence, westbound on Lawrence to Pulaski, then north on Pulaski.

    Remember girls and boys, to offer up your pain and suffering for the souls in Purgatory. It's a good cause, people!!!

  • Andrea D the middle of Albany Park

    I took the 92 eastbound yesterday just because I could. The Lawrence bus was just packed tighter than a can of sardines at Jeff Park when I got off the blue line. The bus turns south on Pulaski to Lawrence, then will stop at Springfield, Hamlin, Central Park and St. Louis, and will turn back north on Kimball to Foster where it will continue on its merry way.

  • Andrea D the middle of Albany Park

    Also, traffic on Lawrence this morning and last evening was horrible. It's always pretty bad, but its been extra bad lately. I think it might be taking the brunt of the diverted traffic. Avoid! Avoid! Avoid! Unless you live off of Lawrence like I do, then you just have to suck it up. :)

  • Bob Kastigar 15 Years North Park, bike rider, retired

    Lawrence Ave is the recommended/routed bypass around the work.

    You have two choices: Kimball or Pulaski, to either south to Lawrence or north to Bryn Mawr.

    The CTA buses are using Lawrence.

    You might make this diversion at either Kedzie or California to the east of Kimball.

    Further west of Pulaski you'll need to go up to Peterson instead of Bryn Mawr. This might be the best choice.

  • kenji Find us here -->

    We found a route to get from Cicero to California and so far it's smooth sailing and only adds 5 minutes to our normal commute on Foster.

    But we aren't telling anyone publicly what it is.

  • Bob Kastigar 15 Years North Park, bike rider, retired

    "Avoid! Avoid! Avoid! Unless you live off of Lawrence like I do, then you just have to suck it up. :)"

    Lawrence may be moving slowly, but that section of Foster is not moving at all.

    So, Lawrence is better than Foster.

  • twisterella 10 year Chi resident

    FYI. According to Ald. Laurino's office: "Foster Avenue is re-opened to thru traffic, with one lane going East, and one lane going West. Currently, construction and utility crews are in the process of restoring the street to its appropriate condition."

  • Corky Albany Park Resident

    Is there a way to find out the status of projects like this one? I am glad the street is open again, but you can still tell there is a lot of work left to be done ... and I would be curious to know when they plan on finishing (repairing street/sidewalk on St. Lewis, repaving foster, removing signs and barrels etc...) ???

  • Flew That Chicago born & raised. You can come home again!

    Original estimate was mid-October. We'll see.

  • Bob Kastigar 15 Years North Park, bike rider, retired

    The replacement of the sewer lines is completed, and if this was what the original estimate referred to, they are WAY ahead of schedule, being finished in mid-September.

    Foster Avenue is open, in both directions.

  • Corky, I believe that the project was to be completed by mid-October. How ya doin', buddy?

  • Bob Kastigar 15 Years North Park, bike rider, retired

    A followup on the closing, from Northeastern's announcement:
    Due to the Foster construction project, the NEIU Foster entrance (east side) will be closed to entering traffic Oct. 5-7 and reopen on Monday, Oct. 8. The NEIU Foster exit (west side) will be closed to exiting traffic Oct. 12-14 and reopen on Monday Oct. 15.

    Please use the Bryn Mawr entrance/exit during the above closure times. Thank you for your patience throughout this project.

  • AP Neighbor 17 year Albany Park resident

    Bob, thanks for the info. I very rarely travel down foster ave but have found myself recently traveling that way to run certain errands. This will save me time and I know to find a new route. Thanks again.

  • Paul 5 Years in North Park

    For right now it looks like they are finishing the curbs, so between Kimball and Central Park things are permanently down to one lane - that seems to be a bigger issue in the morning going west on Foster. I would imagine the next thing they are going to do would be to repave what they've torn up. Hopefully that won't take too long...they were really quick with this project.

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