Contractors will start ripping up Church Street in downtown Evanston today as part of a two-and-a-half-month upgrade project.
The work involves repaving the street, adding a protected bike lane, replacing uneven brick sidewalks with concrete and redoing the plaza at Church Street and Orrington Avenue.
The repaving work zone extends from Ridge Avenue to Orrington Avenue.
The streetscape work will include replacing the existing pavers with a new concrete sidewalk with a brick border; installing new roadway curbing, as needed; replacing the existing tree grates and frames; and constructing a rain garden.
The project will also feature use of bike racks of a new design (shown in the far left photo), as well as new pedestrian lighting (in the photo at left).
The street resurfacing involves grinding the asphalt; roadway base repair; and replacement of asphalt surface from curb to curb and driveway aprons.
A protected bicycle path will be built on the south curb lane from Ashland Avenue to Chicago Avenue. Also as part of the project, Orrington Plaza will be reconfigured to enhance the aesthetics and improve pedestrian safety.
The plaza area will be constructed with porous and regular concrete and a rain garden will be installed as one of the sustainable features of this project. A new bike shelter is also being installed on Church Street.
One lane of traffic will be maintained on Church Street during the entire project, but some inconveniences are expected for merchants and shoppers — and for bike riders, who've seen existing bike racks along the street removed to facilitate the construction work.
Top: Construction barricades line thed sidewalk in the 1000 block of Church Street this noon.