City plans to seek $10.6M west side street grant

Evanston aldermen tonight will be asked to approve a staff plan to seek $10.6 million in federal funding to redesign two major streets on the city’s west side.

The plan would also require spending $4 million of city funds to complete the project which would rebuild much of Church Street and Dodge Avenue.

An illustration of a redesign concept for the Church and Dodge intersection from the 2007 West Evanston Master Plan.

The project is centered around Evanston Township High School, which has agreed to join the city in the grant application.

It would create new bump-out curbs and enhanced pedestrian crosswalks to allow students and neighborhood resident to cross the streets with more easily and would provide improved bus stops.

Work would extend on Church Street from McDaniel to Ashland avenues and on Dodge Avenue from Main to Lyons streets.

A staff memo describing the project says it would feature sustainable design elements including rain gardens and alternative paving choices, like recycled pavement. It may also incorporate bioswale technology to treat and filter storm water before it’s released into the sewer system.

The project is based on concepts developed in the West Evanston Master Plan, which was approved by the City Council in May 2007 with the goal of encouraging new economic development in the neighborhood.

In the staff memo, Public Works Director Suzette Robinson says the project should become a model for future street development across the region.

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