The neighborhood battle to avoid having mast-arm traffic signals on Ridge Avenue will end up costing taxpayers nearly $878,000 in increased construction costs.

The City Council Monday approved revisions to the traffic signal contract that was held up several years ago over protests by neighbors that signal arms hanging over the intersections would be out of character with the Ridge Avenue Historic District.

Alderman Ann Rainey, 8th Ward, said, “I think it’s an extraordinarily embarrassing amount of money. The light arms could be made to disappear with certain painting. This is really too bad.”

A little over half the extra money will be paid with federal funds, with the rest coming from the city’s motor fuel tax revenue. The project now will go forward using post-top signals, like those already in place along the street.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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1 Comment

  1. Ridge Lights
    Before we hang this extra cost on the “preservationists” let us remember the reason this entire fiasco happened is that city staff disregarded the city’s own ordinances. If anyone had bothered to notice that the traffic lights were in a historic district and read the ordinance, they would have known the correct procedure.

    It was obvious that no one had.

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